The Wrens' Kevin Whelan is releasing Observatory, his solo album under the name Aeon Station, on December 10 via Sub Pop. The album features songs he'd written and recorded for The Wrens' long-in-the-works follow-up to The Meadowlands, plus new songs.

Whelan made it almost entirely on his own, but it does feature The Wrens' Greg Whelan (his brother) and Jerry MacDonald, with help from help producer / engineer Tom Beaujour and Whelan's wife, Mary Ann, on backing vocals. “It’s the best I’ve done and may ever do frankly,” Whelan says. “It’s written over such a long period of my life. Music I did in the past was tinged with expectations or presumptions, but this time, it was just for me.”

The first single from Observatory is "Queens," a roaring anthem that builds quite a head of steam over five minutes. This is exciting, dynamic, hooky indie rock and if it's not quite a Wrens song, that doesn't make it any less great. “This song was inspired by one of my all-time favorite songs, 'The Winner Takes it All' by ABBA," Kevin says. "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 to "Queens" below.


Observatory tracklist:
Hold On
Everything at Once
Empty Rooms
Better Love
Alpine Drive

More From Brooklyn Vegan