Just, you know, as a palette cleanser for all the (deserved) Fleet Foxes fever burning up the blogs this week (and speaking of desserts), I thought I'd provide my alternative soundtrack for this fine spring morning: Battles' single "Ice Cream" (featuring Matias Aguayo) off of their forthcoming (though already leaked) album Gloss Drop. "Ice Cream" is an appropriately sweet, melting-before-your-eyes kind of track, uncharacteristic for the mathematically rigorous Battles set but very much in keeping with the style of loopy South American a capella techno star--yes, that's a thing--Aguayo. (Check out Aguayo's last album Ay Ay Ay to see what I mean.)
Aguayo is one of a handful of notable guest vocalists recruited for Gloss Drop following the departure of vocalist/guitarist Tyondai Braxton, whose heavily effected gibberish lent an impish quality to several songs on the band's 2007 album Mirrored. Also appearing on Gloss Drop are new wave icon Gary Numan (who's track "My Machines" ironically sings the praises of technology while being backed by one of the most impressive organic musical units going), Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead, and EYE of shapeshifting Japanese noise band Boredoms. With and without guest vocalists, Battles soldier on without missing a beat on this album--as distinctive as Braxton's vocals were, the molten core of this band has always been the ridiculously tight interplay between hulking drummer John Stanier and the band's fractal guitar and keyboard riffs, a combination that shows no signs of cooling down any time soon.
Gloss Drop is out June 7th via Warp Records; Battles perform in Seattle this Thursday at the Crocodile.