Kevin Whalen shares his second song as Aeon Station ahead of his Sub Pop debut and break from The Wrens.
Being a fan of indie rock band The Wrens can't be easy. The band's career includes three albums and stops at 2003's critically acclaimed The Meadowlands. In the years since, fans have been teased with a follow-up that has never arrived. In the nearly twenty years since, the band hasn't been particularly active (as you may have guessed), but they seemed to remain adamant that a new album would indeed be finished and the band wasn't over. Last month, however, dreams were crushed when Kevin Whelan explained to the New York Times that after years of disputes, he would be releasing the songs he wrote for the long-gestating album under his own moniker Aeon Station. Today Whelan has shared the second single from his solo record, "Leaves," and it's hard to not hear the song as a jab to his former song writing partner. "I am particularly proud of 'Leaves and it is one of my favorite songs on the album, maybe ever," Whelan said in a statement. "Once I decided where the song was going to go, the music and lyrics were done within minutes." He continued: "The song conveys a level of vulnerability, with its gospel-like beginning, building to a reflective, triumphant and anthemic finish. 'Leaves' is about finding the courage to leave negative people or situations behind. It is not about giving up or feeling defeated. It's about learning self-love, finding your voice, and setting on a path for a chance at something better." It's not clear as to whether this song was one that he intended to include on the Wrens album that may never happen or if this was written in response to that. Regardless, it adds to the heartbreak fans have been suffering from for roughly two decades. Whether or not this is indeed a Wrens song, the result is a soft one that finds Whelan's weary voice singing over delicate piano. It builds slowly and the result is a rather beautiful lament towards something that never came to be. What we may never get from The Wrens we'll hear from Whelan via his own output. It may not be what fans have waited for after all these years, but it's still noteworthy that these songs exist and that something has transpired after so much time.
Observatory is out December 10 via Sub Pop.