From The Desk Of We Are Scientists’ Keith Murray: Rewards

No one can call Brooklyn-based rockers We Are Scientists one-dimensional. The band has engaged in extracurricular activities ranging from creating a comedic TV series to self-improvement seminars. However, singer/guitarist Keith Murray and bassist Chris Cain have returned to their day job to release fourth album Barbara (PIAS/Masterswan). WAS, who were without a drummer since the 2007 departure of Michael Tapper, have added former Razorlight skinsman Andy Burrows to the lineup, and Barbara features a more eclectic sound, with the often-brash group experimenting with slower tempos and fuller arrangements. Lead single “Rules Don’t Stop” is vintage Scientists, though; it’s a nervy power-pop song driven by a thumping bass line. The single debuted at number 14 on the U.K. indie charts, and it’s already an anthem for mustachioed hipsters everywhere. Murray is guest editing all week. Read our brand new Q&A with him.

Murray: Rewards is the latest project of Aaron Pfenning. Or, as we rather willfully call him, Aaron P. Pfenning. He was previously the mastermind of uber-cool electronic pop act Chairlift before he realized that, sometimes, a genius works best without a band to impede him. Since then, he’s been creating dark, dreamy, pop gems that sound like they might be included on a romantic mix tape made by Buffalo Bill from The Silence Of The Lambs. Pfenning’s latest experiments have been aimed toward achieving a weird androgyny in his vocals; there’s a lot of weirdo pitch-shifting and gender-bending. Underneath it all, though, is simply a catalogue of choice pop nuggets, pure and simple. He’s going to be huge.

Video after the jump.

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