The Drop

By Chase Straight, Red Pulse Writer

Empire of the Sun
Walking on a Dream
EMI

Empire of the Sun got their name from a novel of the same title written in 1984. Fittingly, their debut album, Walking on a Dream, is a tribute to everything that was great about ’80s music: catchy hooks and danceable beats. Their first single, “Walking on a Dream,” features soft, fuzzy synths coupled with a driving drum line that would fit right in on a Thursday night at Area 51. Although the album is heavily influenced by the melodies of yesteryear, the group stays true to innovative indie-pop sensibilities. “Swordfish Hotkiss Night” utilizes modern funk rhythms and is spiced with samples from “Super Mario,” ultimately turning out a song that could have been written by The Neptunes. The land that gave us Kylie Minogue is making up for past transgressions with this gem.

David Byrne and Brian Eno
Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
Self-Released

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is the result of David Byrne, of Talking Heads fame, writing lyrics to discarded Brian Eno tunes. The jury is still out on this one. Songs like “Strange Overtones” and the title track work perfectly. Byrne’s airy, yearning vocals play effortlessly with Eno’s signature ambient style. Other tracks didn’t turn out so well. “Wanted for Life” displays Eno’s best, with a stylistic combination of dreamy soundscapes and hints of industrial synthesizers, but is ruined by Byrne’s strained vocals. At best, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is not readily accessible, and will not be received well by mainstream audiences. It depends on the context in which it’s listened to8212;some albums are best appreciated when the listener is sedated heavily with strong doses of marijuana, and this is one of them.

The Coral Sea
Firelight
Hidden Agenda/Parasol Records

This art-house indie-rock band out of Santa Barbara is making waves in the music scene, and has been featured on the soundtracks of TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Sleeper Cell.” Firelight proves The Coral Sea is a band to keep your eye on. Even though the orchestral sound of their songs is soporific, there could be something darker and fiercer lurking beneath them. It’s like being hit with a shotgun blast that shoots out little fluffy nuggets of musical loveliness. Speaking of fluffiness, singer Rey Villalobos’ voice is so tranquil, I listened to three songs before I realized it was a guy singing. The good news is, his voice complements the instrumentals well. The album walks the fine line between pretentious indie-rock and approachable composition. It’s the kind of product that is just too good for radio.