STRFKR’s New Album ‘Miracle Mile’ Channels Energy, Color and Good Vibes

Emma Dahl

Illustration by Katie Emory
Illustration by Katie Emory

Miracle Mile, Portland, Ore. band STRFKR’s third full-length album, is a colorful continuation and development of the band’s percolating electronic style. The last two albums that the band released were great, of course––but it is this reporter’s humble opinion that Miracle Mile is their best yet. Dynamic, sugary and poppy in the best way possible, this is an album that is a pleasure to both listen and dance to.

I think it’s safe to say that STRFKR’s former albums were pretty experimental; their sound at the time felt a bit amorphous, as if the band were still working to find the right tempo. But Miracle Mile, while retaining the edginess of their older releases, is much more polished and focused; the work the band put into every song is tangible. STRFKR is really finding its groove, and Miracle Mile is a testament to that.

One standout track is “When I’m Alive,” a song I’d describe as quintessential STRFKR. It’s a seamless blend of synth, wailing vocals and bass guitar; it’s a catchy-as-hell mantra on the simple task of going on living despite daily setbacks and letdowns. “Leave It All Behind,” my favorite track from the album, deserves a lot of attention. It’s one of those songs you can’t help but head bang to. Sometimes a song is so well-crafted that you can almost feel its emotion act on you in a physical way, and “Leave It All Behind” does absolutely that. It feels like a wave ebbing in and out, with the dynamic synths sort of pulsing throughout the melody. The lyrics declare independence from heartbreak by refusing to give oneself over completely to a significant other, but the song itself is anything but a downer.

Also notable is the bonus items I received along with my pre-ordered copy of the album: Tucked into the envelope along with the CD was an Airhead and a temporary tattoo. Whether the compliments of Polyvinyl Records or the band’s own personal touch, STRFKR continues to surprise me, not only with their music but with their merchandising.

STRFKR is a band that is having fun and making great music at the same time, and it comes through in their music. The groovy bass lines, infectious melodies and simplistic yet thoughtful lyrics make for a solid album. Saccharine, upbeat and anything but formless, Miracle Mile is an impressive release from a band that I’m excited to hear more from in the future.