The saga of The Wrens’ follow-up to their beloved 2003 album The Meadowlands has been just that: a saga. Summarized by Uproxx’s Steven Hyden, here’s the breakdown: The New Jersey indie figureheads formed in the late ’80s, put out two critically beloved albums in the ’90s (1994’s Silver and 1996’s Secaucus), followed that up with 2003’s The Meadowlands, and then got to work putting out a fourth album… which never arrived.
No one ever quit The Wrens, though — technically, they’re still together. That follow-up has just been in the works for about 18 years. “[The follow-up is] all done and has been done for a while, so plans are afoot, I guess. Or something,” guitarist/vocalist Charles Bissell told Uproxx.
Anyway, The New York Times is now reporting that some new Wrens tracks are imminent, just not exactly the way fans have been anticipating. Band member Kevin Whelan has taken the five songs he wrote for the band’s The Meadowlands follow-up, remixed them, added five new ones, and is putting them out as Observatory on December 10 under the name Aeon Station, which “sounds like a band,” he said. Kevin’s brother and fellow Wren Greg, as well as drummer Jerry MacDonald, have also contributed to the album, but Bissell did not. According to the Times, the two haven’t spoken since Whelan told Bissell about Aeon Station.
“Charles wanted to feel more understood, more heard about what he contributed,” Whelan said. “I was never against that, but when we started talking about how to do it, it got very drawn out and complicated.”
Read the interview in full here. Look for Observatory‘s arrival on 12/10.