In recent months, the scene has witnessed the rise of a bastardized version of electronic music. The BrokenCYDE’s of the music world have abused torrented versions of Fruity Loops and assaulted the ears of thousands with the unfathomably bad results. It is easy to cast off any band possessing the “electronica” tag as something vapid and not worth the time of discerning listeners but if we take that attitude, it means the crunkcore movement has won. One of the many bands fighting off the newfound electronica stereotypes is Discovery with their debut LP titled LP (at least it will be easy to remember).

Discovery is a bit of a super-group. Composed of members of Ra Ra Riot (Wes Miles) and Vampire Weekend (Rostam Batmanglij), the new band no doubt raised eyebrows and piqued interests all over the indie music community. To top it off, Dera Doorian (of Dirty Projectors fame) also contributes vocals on “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”. With all that, it is easy to see why this has been one of the most anticipated releases of 2009. Admittedly, it sounds like the kind of project that will either be amazing or fail miserably.

Truthfully, the album does neither. On first listen, it floats seamlessly between fairly interesting, toe-tapping pieces (“Osaka Loop Line”) and mildly boring indie noodling (“Slang Tang”). Upon further spins, it becomes more and more like the former rather than the latter. One can just chalk that up to the nature of side-projects though. Undeniably, the album’s most interesting piece is the customary cover, here, in the form of a T-Pain’d take on the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”. It is the kind of thing bands like Ra Ra Riot and Vampire Weekend probably would not have time for in their primary projects. In fact, the entire album rings with a pitch of freedom and exploration. It shuns the temptation to place catchiness over quality but occasionally catches both. When it works, it is fantastic.

LP is the summer album for the flannel-shirt wearer at heart (this is our Nothing Personal, hipsters). In particular, “Swing Tree” stands out as an easy nominee for song of the summer. Featuring synthesized steel drums and a back beat begging to be sampled by a backpack hip-hopper, “Swing Tree” is perfect for the young indie musician on his first tour to blast on the system of his Mom’s Buick LaSabre. Clocking in at just under half an hour and spanning just ten songs, the album ends just before it has a chance to become tedious. Being a side project, there is no guarantee that Discovery will put out a second album but I find myself hoping for one, a record just as jam packed with quality tunes.

Released: July 7th, 2009

Overall score: 7.6/10