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A Three-Minute Blast of Rock and Electronics

The Austin band Ghostland Observatory makes funky, danceable rock.
The Austin band Ghostland Observatory makes funky, danceable 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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Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.