Newfound Strangers are the second rock band from Derby, UK that I’ve featured on this blog in little more than a week (the previous being These Wicked Rivers). Formed in 2016 by guitarists Chris Payne and Dave Kent, the band also includes bassist and vocalist Dan Shaw, and drummer Nathan Rose. Drawing on influences from Country, Classic Rock, Indie and Alternative, and artists as varied as Springsteen to Snow Patrol, Queen to Queens of the Stone and Foreigner to Foo Fighters, they’ve struggled to place themselves into a box in terms of genre, so have settled on ‘Melodic Rock.’ Collectively, the guys have over 50 years of combined experience both in the studio and onstage.
They released their debut EP Take Me As I Am in May of this year, and now follow up with a single “Take Me As I Am,” which just dropped on August 11. Interestingly, the single was not included on the EP. The band explains: “We originally toyed with putting it on the EP and making it a title track, however we decided it warranted its own release. The message behind the naming is the song talks about staying true to who you are and sticking to your roots, which really epitomises who we are as a band, so we stuck with the title for the EP.”
“Take Me As I Am” is a gentle rock ballad with a country sensibility. A perfectly balanced mix of electric and acoustic guitars are nicely complemented by humming bass and crisp percussion, creating a track that’s incredibly pleasing and expertly crafted. With heartfelt emotion, Dan sings the lyrics addressing someone who accepts him for who he is, enabling him to feel comfortable in his own skin, and not having to pretend or act in a way that’s dishonest to gain their love or acceptance.
“I’ve tried so hard to tell you, but the words don’t come out right.
I’m just a man. I’m nothing more and nothing less.
I’m not your shining knight.
Its taken oh so long, just to feel like you could be mine.
I’ll keep on waiting til the moment’s gone. Now I’m waiting in line.
You’re the only one who’s seen deep inside me.
You’re only one who’s looked in my soul.
You’re the only one who sets my spirit free.
You’re the only one who takes me as I am.”