Strange

Album: Not Your Muse (2019)
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Songfacts®:

  • Celeste wrote and recorded this reflection on a broken relationship in Los Angeles during the 2018 California wildfires. She began to think of all the destruction the fires caused with people finding themselves isolated without a home anymore. Celeste also reflected on the loss of her father, who died in California from lung cancer at the age of 49 when she was just 16. She utilized her own emotional turmoil to pen this heartbreaking dissection of the end of a romance.
  • Isn't it strange
    How people can change
    From strangers to friends
    Friends into lovers
    And strangers again?


    Celeste explained to Apple Music: "To a lot of people, this probably sounds like a breakup song. But for me, it's encompassing lots of feelings of loss."

    She added that one day they passed the LA hospital where she'd seen her father for the last time, before he died, and her stomach dropped. "The emotion was as raw as it had been six years earlier," Celeste said. "I was also feeling heartbreak about the distance that had come between me and some of the friends I'd grown up with."
  • Celeste was afraid she would lose her voice because the air was thick with smoke from the California wildfires. "All those things came together in the studio," she said. "I approached the microphone very gently, because I was worried about my voice. But that also filtered into how I would treat this song, which was respectfully."
  • Celeste wrote the song with two LA-based singer-songwriters: Stephen Wrabel (Kesha's "Woman," Backstreet Boys' "Don't Go Breaking My Heart") and Jamie Hartman (Rag'n'Bone Man's "Human," Lewis Capaldi's "Hold Me While You Wait"). Hartman also produced the track.
  • The Argentine composer and multi-instrumentalist Sebastian Plano arranged the strings. His 2019 record Verve received a nomination for Best New Age Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.
  • Polydor released the song on September 4, 2019 as the lead single from Celeste's debut studio album, Not Your Muse.
  • Celeste made her UK late-night television debut when she performed the song on Later... with Jools Holland in October 2019, and her American TV debut when she sang "Strange" on The Late Late Show with James Corden in late January 2020.
  • Celeste's performance of the song at the 2020 Brit Awards garnered interest from other big names who attended the ceremony, such as Billie Eilish, Finneas, Camilla Cabello, and Stormzy. Finneas stayed in touch with the singer and they worked together on her "I Can See The Change" single, finishing it during lockdown.
  • The version of "Strange" that appears on Not Your Muse is an edited one that omits the original single's third verse. This is unusual as it's normally the single that gets cut with radio play in mind.
  • The song soundtracked a scene in the second series of Netflix's action-adventure teen drama TV series Outer Banks. It features in episode 6, "My Druthers," when the ship one of the characters is on explodes.

Comments: 1

  • J. from Rochester, NyThis song is also on The Blacklist season 1 episode 5 "The Courier". It was so haunting I had to look it up.
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