NPR logo A Three-Minute Blast of Rock and Electronics

A Three-Minute Blast of Rock and Electronics

Sad Sad City

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The Austin band Ghostland Observatory makes funky, danceable rock. hide caption

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Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "Sad Sad City"
  • Artist: Ghostland Observatory
  • CD: Paparazzi Lightning
  • Genre: Electro-Rock

Aaron Behrens and Thomas Turner, who perform as Ghostland Observatory, play electronica with the ferocity of great rock 'n' roll. The Austin duo's music presents a beguiling synthesis of new-wave-influenced bands like The Rapture and the progressive dance-floor musings of Daft Punk.

"Sad Sad City," from Ghostland Observatory's recent album Paparazzi Lightning, presents a three-minute blast of funky drumbeats, sinewy keyboard patterns and synth loops. While Ghostland Observatory often draws comparisons to its aforementioned peers, the song also recalls the glam-funk of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust," and even The Human League's synth-drenched 1982 hit "Don't You Want Me."

"I need you / to want me, to help me, to tell me the truth," Behrens sings, his voice recalling Freddy Mercury's. An unpretentious anthem, "Sad Sad City" nicely demonstrates Ghostland Observatory's ability to rock with electronic beats — a skill just as suited to the live stage as it is powerful when the needle hits the record.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Paparazzi Lightning
Ghostland Observatory

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