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Birds & Batteries, "Stray Light"
Birds & Batteries, “Stray Light”

Hey, look. More ‘80s sounds updated to work in 2012.

We’re over-saturated with this stuff right now, but Birds & Batteries stand out by having a folksy feel underneath all the slick pop-rock sounds. Michael Sempert’s voice sounds trapped in his head and the distinct tone is a big part of what gives Stray Light an older feel.

The front end of the album is using the hell out of ‘80s pop rock, but as the album goes on, it starts to feel more modern. “Be My Girl” is the highlight of the record for its deep droning topped with lilting whistles. The song has more oomph than any other. It’s followed up by the funkier “I Want You,” which moves in and out of pulsing beats, groovy bass lines and ethereal synths. Finally, in the last few tracks, Stray Light feels the closest to folk rock, with the guitars played up and electronics turned down.

As it winds down and the very soothing, very slow jam “Artic Flowers,” Bird & Batteries have made a transformation in genre you probably never saw coming.