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It shouldn’t come as a shock that Brooklyn, NY’s Stern draw on everything from avant-garde metal to film scores in forging their self-described “alien pop” sound. After all, the band includes three members of the uncategorizable Kayo Dot in addition to their namesake and chief songwriter, Chuck Stern (ex-Time of Orchids).

On “Trappings,” a song from their upcoming LP Bone Turquoise, Stern sounds even more settled into this supergroup lineup than they did on 2012’s Entitlement, their first effort that featured the talents of musicians other than Chuck Stern himself. The confidence Stern exude on “Trappings” points to the fact that they are not a solo project with backing musicians: they’re a band.

Instrumentally speaking, the track’s off-kilter structure and shifting rhythms could fit right into Kayo Dot’s 2014 darkwave exploration, Coffins on Io. However, Chuck Stern’s vocals, delivered mostly in a Mike Patton-esque croon but occasionally in violent growls, take “Trappings” to a different level. Fans of Kayo Dot and associated artists like maudlin of the Well will feel at home with but still challenged by the song.

Stream “Trappings” below.

— Danny Evans

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Bone Turquoise is available on August 7th via New Atlantis Records. Follow Stern on Facebook.

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This post was edited to properly reflect photo credits.

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