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For his full-length debut Strangers, composer/remixer/producer RAC called on more than a dozen guest musicians to bring to life his lush and dreamy hybrid of indie-pop and electro. The mastermind behind much-acclaimed reimaginations of tracks by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lana Del Rey, and Bastille, the multi-instrumentalist born André Allen Anjos co-wrote and produced each of the album’s 16 songs without ever meeting most of his collaborators (a lineup that includes Golden Globe-winning composer Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Tegan & Sara, Tokyo Police Club, Katie Herzig, and Cherrytree recording artist Matthew Koma). But while its title nods to the lack of literal companionship between Anjos and his guest artists, Strangers emerges as an intensely warm and intimate album fueled by RAC’s gift for fusing breezy melody with fresh, forward-pushing sound.
A Portland, Oregon-based musician born and raised in Portugal, Anjos has created more than 200 remixes since 2007 and seen those endlessly inventive tracks reach number-one on Hype Machine 30 times. Released by Cherrytree Records in two parts—and as one complete collection on CD and vinyl—Strangers includes RAC’s first-ever solo recording: “Hollywood” (featuring Penguin Prison), which hit the top slot on all four Hype Machine charts at once upon its initial release in 2012. Also a number-one track on Hype Machine’s Artist and Popular charts, Strangers’ lead single “Let Go” (featuring Bloc Party’s Kele and rising electro-pop star MNDR) earned RAC many breathless accolades last year, with Entertainment Weekly praising the song as “a dreamy end-of-summer pop concoction that will have you grooving well into fall.”