Washington, DC goth/rock and post-punk act Strange Boutique has announced the release of the Jet Stream EP, marking the band’s first release of new music in more than two decades. With the opening title track now available to stream on Bandcamp, the band refers to “Jet Stream” as “a song of childlike wonder and hope,” which sonically picks up where the band left off; Strange Boutique’s last album of new material was 1994’s The Kindest Worlds, with the EP also featuring new tracks “Lightfoot Floyd” and “Blindness,” the latter being an updated rendition of the fan favorite “We Treat the Blindness” from the 1991 debut The Loved One. Additionally, the EP includes two remixes of “Jet Stream” by Stephen Carey and The Hunted Hare, marking the first time Strange Boutique’s music allowed “like minded, sympathetic friend” free reign to “reimagine, reinvent, rework, and remix” the band’s music. Produced by the band and mixed by bassist/guitarist Steve Willett with Roger Lavallee, the Jet Stream EP is due for release on May 5, with pre-orders available now on Bandcamp. As well, the band will be premiering a music video for “Blindness” on April 24 on Tomorrow’s Ghosts Virtually Spring Festival livestream event, with tickets available now.
Strange Boutique had reunited to perform at DC9 on June 22, 2019, the show acting as a tribute to the band’s legacy and a celebration of the life and talent of original guitarist and underground punk and hardcore icon Fred “Freak” Smith, who was found murdered in August 2017 in San Fernando Valley; the show was recorded and released as a live album one year later, with guitarist Dennis Kane filling Smith’s role as guitarist, and with founding members vocalist Monica Richards and bassist/guitarist Steve Willett joined by drummer Rand Blackwell, who had been featured on The Kindest Worlds. Previously, the band had reunited for a performance in 2004, the same year Metropolis Records issued The Collection: 1988-1994. Richards famously went on to form Faith and the Muse with William Faith subsequent to Strange Boutique’s dissolution, that band releasing an acoustic version of “Drown” with Smith on guitars on the 2001 Vera Causa collection.