Besides its pitch-perfect focus on era-appropriate mood-setting, the best thing about Stranger Things is Steve Harrington. Played by actor Joe Keery, the character started out as an arrogant and well-groomed jock but slowly developed into one of the show's most lovable roles. In season two, he turns into a hero and an essential part of the main cast. But in the latest installment of the nostalgia-laced horror drama, he showcases even more of his vulnerability as he realizes he might not be as cool as he used to be in high school. It's charming stuff.
While Keery and his hair are some of the most recognizable parts of the Netflix phenomenon, the Los Angeles-via-Chicago actor is also a musician. Before his rise as an actor, he played in the Chicago psych-rock outfit Post Animal, leaving the band before they released their 2018 LP When I Think Of You In A Castle. (His contributions to the album like his vocal parts on "Ralphie" and "Dirtpicker" are highlights.)
But now, with his new project Djo, Keery finds himself making sticky and inviting psych-pop. Over the weekend, he posted his debut single "Roddy." There aren't many details about the song available, but it was recorded at Chicago’s Treehouse Studios, with Keery singing "There’s somethin’ wrong with this world / I feel it comin’ on" over its silky chorus. Like his co-star Finn Wolfhard who fronts scrappy Canadian rock band Calpurnia, there's a lot of music happening in the Stranger Things cast.
Since Keery was already a musician before his acting career took off, "Roddy" does not have the feel of a vanity project. It's a seamless, hook-filled track that highlights his welcoming croon as well as a surprisingly funky arrangement that references acts like The Beatles as much as Mild High Club. Even without the Stranger Things connection, it's worth a listen. Check it out below.