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Flagpole Premieres: Obligatory Refractions, “Stranger In My Head”

Obligatory Refractions

Obligatory Refractions, a new recording project between Sloan Simpson (Sloan Brothers, Southern Shelter) and Robert Schneider (Apples in Stereo), has just released a new music video for “Stranger In My Head.” After guest appearing on Sloan Brothers’ 2022 LP System Update, Schneider texted Simpson to suggest that they start an early ’70s Pink Floyd-inspired project where they could co-write together. The result, Obligatory Refractions, will debut with a split single release next week.

“Sloan Brothers used the DALL-E AI image generator for our last digital single’s cover (Kid Wizard), and it turns out that Robert is fascinated by AI art and wanted to use it for our video,” says Simpson. “I wasn’t surprised because Robert loves the intersection of art and technology. The images may be fleeting thoughts of strangers living in the singer’s head.”

“’Stranger In My Head’ is about what I think—or hope—is a universal human experience of doing things or making decisions against your better judgment,” says Simpson. “Thinking you know what you’re doing until you do the opposite of what you intend to do, and then feeling that it’s like a stranger in your head made that decision.”

Both Schneider and Simpson contributed guitar and vocals to “Stranger In My Head,” with Simpson additionally contributing organ, synth, bass and drum programming. The two began working on a full LP before Schneider moved from Athens, and plan to continue working on it remotely.

The split single includes two songs from each project, and is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, Nov. 1 via Chunklet Industries. A pressed first edition of 60 copies on clear vinyl will be available, and a digital pre-scale is already underway.