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Stereo Embers The Podcast: Kevin Whalen (Aeon Station, The Wrens)

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Now the name Aeon Station might not sound familiar but their music probably does. And there’s a simple reason for that. Aeon Station is basically 3/4ths of the personnel of the legendary New Jersey band The Wrens. So why is the band Aeon Station and not the Wrens? Well, there’s also a simple reason for that but it’s one of those simple reasons that’s actually kind of complicated and probably deserves its own podcast by way of explanation. So let’s just go with this. The band is Aeon Station because it’s not the Wrens. Confused? This should clear things up. The Wrens formed in ’89, put out three perfect albums, including Seacaucus and The Meadowlands. The Meadowlands came out in 2003 and the band was poised to translate their critical acclaim capitol—of which they had a massive amount—into a profile that was bound to be larger, but, long story short: they didn’t. Now, almost twenty years later, Singer/guitarist Kevin Whalen who shared Wrens songwriting and singing duties with Charles Bissell in a kind of Jones and Strummer way, decided he would step forward with a batch of songs he’d been sitting on, including five that were intended for the follow up to The Meadowlands. Whalen’s longtime Wrens comrades—his brother Greg and Jerry MacDonald—play on Aeon Station’s Observatory and the results are nothing short of captivating. A dramatic song cycle of indie rock soundscapes powered by wondrous melodies and lilting choruses, Observatory is stunning work. Falling somewhere between Remy Zero’s Villanelle, Radiohead’s OK Computer and the crunchy beauty of Canada’s Aerogramme, the album is a breathtaking blast of melodic wonder. It’s affecting, it’s arresting and it’s utterly thrilling—it reminds us that whether beauty rises or falls, its always spectacular. In this chat Kevin Whalen talks to Alex about The Wrens’ misadventures, the genesis of Aeon Station, his daily musical practice and what’s in the Whalen musical vaults….

Stereo Embers The Podcast

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Instagram: @emberspodcast

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