The Strange Familiar, led by Kira Leyden (vocalist, keyboard) and Jeff Andrea (lead guitarist) garnered early critical success with their Top 10 iTunes hit "Courage Is" (featured as the promo theme on ABC Family's The Secret Life of the American Teenager) and Ashlee Simpson's hit song Invisible. The duo, having met in grade school in Akron, OH, started writing together when they were both 14 years old and have been collaborating ever since, crafting The Strange Familiar's captivating sound. Completing the lineup are friends and fellow Ohio-bred musicians Nicholas Sainato (drums) and Frank Freeman (bass).
The band's new single shows off their affinity for penning poptastic tunes, but also has a more serious message about being true to oneself. "Being Me" was written to lyrically interpret the idea of peeling away the layers of who you are not. "I was inspired to write the song after I watched the movie, The Runaways." Leyden explains, "I wanted to express the fact that I cannot be Joan Jett, Janis Joplin or anyone else. That had already been done. The only way to be truly unique is to be who I really am."
"Being Me" is a declaration of independence, more confident than self-effacing, with a smoky acoustic groove leading up to a jubilant chorus that shows off Leyden's soulful upper register.
The accompanying video follows Leyden as she saunters down Hollywood Boulevard and physically peels away layers of jackets, dresses, wigs, ties and make-up to reveal the low-key, Midwest persona she truly embodies.
The new album is due out in March 2012 and the band will continue to work with producer Brian Malouf (Dave Matthews, Madonna, Everclear, Lisa Loeb). They are looking forward to their first national tour in support of the record, including a stop at SXSW.