Philadelphia-based indie rockers Strange Ranger spent their first six years between Montana and Oregon, operating under the name Sioux Falls. A series of EPs paved the road to their 2016 debut, a dramatic post-punk double LP called Rot Forever. Adopting their current name and heading east, they softened their sound somewhat on 2017’s more atmospheric Daymoon, then expanded both their membership and sonic palette for 2019’s Remembering the Rockets.
The group began as the high school project of guitarist Isaac Eiger and bassist Fred Nixon. Inspired by bands like Modest Mouse and Pixies, the two friends began shaping their melodic post-punk sound and playing gigs around their hometown of Bozeman, Montana. By 2012, they had self-released an EP and relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they recruited drummer Ben Scott. Once established, they knocked out another pair of EPs in 2013’s Big Krackel and 2014’s Lights Off for Danger before hooking up with Pittsburgh-based indie Broken World Media. With a new label in place, Sioux Falls spent 2015 wrapping up their debut album, Rot Forever, an expansive and edgy double album that saw release in early 2016.
After changing their name to Strange Ranger at the end of the year, they pared down again to the core duo of Eiger and Nixon and headed in a less aggressive direction, releasing the lusher and more textural bedroom pop album Daymoon in 2017. It marked their first release for the Tiny Engines label, which also handled their 2019 follow-up, Remembering the Rockets. By this point, the group had relocated to Philadelphia and expanded into a quartet with the addition of singer Fiona Woodman and drummer Nathan Tucker.