Track Premiere: Stanhope “Angry At Strangers”

Photo: Gary Cialdella

Stanhope is the performing pseudonym of Chris Rawlins, who has been performing since 2014, when he moved to Chicago and started playing at open-mics, local gigs and local tours.  He released an album ‘Bring on the Rain‘ in 2019 but today’s song is from the debut album under the Stanhope name entitled ‘Static.’  Why the change of identity?  Well Chris Rawlins explains that “I wanted to feel like I was someone else at first, but eventually became so comfortable writing about personal subjects under a pseudonym, the name seemed more like me. And it’s allowed me to expand my sound and follow changes in my writing.”

Angry at Strangers‘ has a relaxed musical vibe, with lyrics somewhat at odds with that mood – it’s an acknowledgement that we’re at a time when it’s easy to find something to lash out at.  Media, politics, social media feeds (whatever they are) – there’s a lot to get annoyed with and some at least of it comes from inside.  Chris wrote the opening lines, “no one’s as happy as you think they are / by the picture of them laughing on the hood of their car” almost ten years ago after a breakup. In 2020 the idea of being angry at strangers took on a new meaning, and he became interested in finishing the song because it felt like it could take on other meanings aside from just being a catchy heartbreak song.


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About Jonathan Aird 2040 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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