The Greek dark duo Strawberry Pills released their debut album "Murder To A Beat" on October 30th, 2020. The duo, consisting of singer Valisia Odell and Antonis Konstantaras on guitar, had resurfaced after a 6-year hiatus. Sonically, with this album the band aim for a fresh dark sound while paying homage to the 80’s, with its title inspired by the queen of crime, Agatha Christie.

 The opening track of the album, "The Voyeur", is an ode to Guy Bourdin’s voyeuristic photography. A classic example of the duos sound based on minimal electronics as a backdrop with flashes of guitar and Valisia’s characteristic singing style. Almost spoken word, with her individual pronunciation. All these elements of fiction, horror, death and romance as stated by the band are combined on "Private Nightmare" that has a more oldschool feel. Next comes "Verbal Suicide" that was actually their comeback song, released in February 2019 gaining major airplay. This low tempo minimal track gets addictive especially when the groove kicks in during the chorus and the sci-fi synth sounds at its climax. The first side ends with "Enter The Void", another 80ish track that’s more guitar driven.

 On the second side of the album, we have the new wavy "Dreams" with its synthy verse and a more dynamic chorus with chaotic guitars and Valisia singing “Murder, murder…”. Thing calm down on "Porcelain Face", a song about an alluring femme fatale. Again here, after a calm nocturnal sounding verse, the chorus comes in a bang. On the next track "Icarus" that was initially released in May 2019, has a more pop sensibility with electro sounds and a more playful vibe. In the same vein we have the closing track "Set To Rise Again" but with a more minimalistic approach.

 The album was recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Panos Tsekouras at Top Floor Studio. The duo was also assisted by Aristomenis Theodoropoulos, an old fellow artist who had previously worked with them in their previous band Phoenix Catscratch. The artwork and photos are done by Aris Athanatos. It comes as in black and clear vinyl 180 gram but will also be available digitally.


Review by Nick Drivas