The Kennedy Center

Stranger in the Alps


Stranger in the Alps is a music project founded in 2013 by singer-songwriter Steve Kolowich and his friends in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington. The band started as a lark, performing at open mic nights and in living rooms. The band's name comes from the edited-for-TV version of an unspeakable line from the film The Big Lebowski. Its sound evolved through a combination of design and happenstance as a rotating cast of D.C. musicians elaborated on Kolowich's demo recordings. The band released its first album, Honey If You're Lucky, in 2013, and its second album, Pattern Matching, in 2015, both of which were produced by D.C. pop wizard Louis Weeks. The Washington City Paper called Pattern Matching "a rich mix of alt-country, electronic, and chamber pop," and later named Stranger in the Alps the "best folk troubadour" in the city. In 2016 the band released a single, "The Most Photographed Barn in America," a meditation on tourism -- inspired by a scene in the novel White Noise by Don DeLillo -- featuring a woodwind arrangement by the New York jazz player Ethan Helm. (This song, along with Pattern Matching, can be found on iTunes and Spotify.) Collectively speaking, Stranger in the Alps is a sucker for harmony, Americana, and language games. They are grateful for your time and attention. 

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/18/2017: Stranger in the Alps

Stranger in the Alps is a modern folk-rock outfit that uses old gestures to communicate the joys and anxieties of contemporary life. The group will be playing original songs inspired by homonyms and air travel.

Presented in collaboration with Hometown Sounds.

 Stranger in the Alps