Aeon Station – “Queens”

Aeon Station – “Queens”

It’s been 18 years since New Jersey indie rockers the Wrens released their dejectedly soaring late-career masterpiece The Meadowlands, and for most of that time, they’ve been talking about following it up with one last LP. Wrens mouthpiece Charles Bissell’s endless tinkering and false promises on that front have turned the album into a Chinese Democracy situation, yet no matter how rightfully skeptical any of us may be, that new Wrens album remains a holy grail for fans.

So it was both exhilarating and devastating to learn yesterday that — following a dispute over money, having lost patience with Bissell’s perfectionism — Kevin Whelan, the other songwriter in the Wrens, had severed ties with Bissell and would be releasing the songs he’d long intended for the Wrens album under a different name. The Meadowlands followup of our collective imagination will never exist; instead, there is Aeon Station and whatever Bissell unveils someday.

Under the name Aeon Station, Whelan is releasing his album Observatory this December on Sub Pop. It features Wrens bandmates Jerry MacDonald and Greg Whelan, with additional contributions from Tom Beaujour and backup vocals from Kevin’s wife Mary Ann. According to Whelan, “It’s the best I’ve done and may ever do frankly.” Lead single “Queens” is out today, and lyrics like “It’s hard to leave you behind” sure do make it sound like an address to Bissell. So does this statement from Whelan:

This song was inspired by one of my all-time favorite songs, “The Winner Takes it All” by ABBA. It’s about betting on the real you. Like a game of high-stakes poker, you push all your chips to the center of the table and aren’t afraid to go “all in.” It starts with a solo vocal, framing the story to come, the drums then propel the song forward, with a force working its way to a climax of a repeating line – “You said it was all in.”

Listen below.

TRACKLIST:
01 “Hold On”
02 “Leaves”
03 “Fade”
04 “Everything At Once”
05 “Move”
06 “Queens”
07 “Empty Rooms”
08 “Air”
09 “Better Love”
10 “Alpine Drive”

Observatory is out 12/10 on Sub Pop. Pre-order it here.

Ebru Yildiz

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