Will Stratton follows in the footsteps of Beirut, another disarmingly proficient project by an indie-rock prodigy. The 20-year-old's debut album, What the Night Said, is full of mature and sophisticated folk-pop that doesn't sound like the work of a college student. And, much as Beirut's Zach Condon was mentored by Elephant 6 alum Jeremy Barnes, Stratton has functioned under the wing of Sufjan Stevens.
"What the Night Said was written and recorded in high school," Stratton says. "'Katydid' is the oldest song on the album. I wrote it when I was 15 about someone I can barely remember."
"Katydid" features a piano that sounds like it was played in another city, as well as an oboe credited to "a mysterious figure" — most assuredly Stevens.