Originally hailing from Wellington, New Zealand, Popstrangers make brash yet melodic music that nods not only to the heyday of their homeland's Flying Nun label, but to alt-rock legends like the Pixies and Nirvana. The band formed in 2009 when singer/guitarist Joel Flyger, bassist Adam Page, and founding drummer Elliott Rawson met through mutual friends and bonded over their love of bands including Sonic Youth and the Gordons. That September, they released a self-titled EP as well as a split 7" with Collapsing Cities, both of which showed off Popstrangers' volatile mix of hooks and noise. The following year's Happy Accidents EP, which introduced drummer Jimmy Mac, displayed a more muscular version of their sound.
In 2011, the band was nominated for the Critics Choice Award at that year's NZ Music Awards (the prize eventually went to Kimbra). Early in 2013, the trio -- now featuring drummer David Larson -- released their full-length debut Antipodes on Carpark Records. The group relocated to London, and the growing pains they experienced inspired Popstrangers' moody, psychedelic second album Fortuna, which arrived in mid-2014. ~ Heather Phares