August 27, 2009

Test Spin: Discovery

Print More

It has come to my attention that not enough people have heard of Discovery, a band whose album became my go-to for everything from running, pre-gaming, partying, post-gaming, driving and just going to bed this summer. It’s one of those rare all weather albums created in part by Rostam Batmanglif, the keyboardist of Vampire Weekend, and in part by Wes Miles, the lead singer of Ra Ra Riot, and as a whole it sounds nothing like the former or the latter. Though the line up of musicians alone should have driven hoards of music listeners to this group, I fear Discovery has been flying a little too low on the radar for such a stellar album released back in July.
It could be that despite the indie rock credentials backing Discovery, their debut LP, ironically titled LP, is a contemporary R&B album. So while those of the indie persuasion don’t want to hear R&B, those of the R&B persuasion don’t want to hear something made by white indie rockers. Yet, it’s one amazing experiment in playing with a soundboard containing noises as varied as electronic static and clap tracks that will satisfy listeners of both genres. The sounds and their lyrics are so disjointed — topics jump from globe trotting to having a very big crush — yet the disconnect makes this album far from boring and one of the few albums that can easily be spun from start to finish, even in the iPod era.
Although the heavy digitization of Discovery makes the music incomparable to Vampire Weekend or Ra Ra Riot, fans will still enjoy hearing Vampire Weekend lead singer Ezra Koenig featured on the track “Carby” or the remix of Ra Ra Riot’s “Can You Tell” which is newly titled “Can You Discover?” But by far the song that puts the talent of Discovery at the forefront is their remix of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”
This album is putting indie rockers on the hip-hop map, whether it widely embraced or not. So I suggest embracing it, because LP will not disappoint.