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It’s no wonder New York’s Longwave is described by critics as “space pop,” an esoteric music critic way of saying “music to listen to while stoned in a planetarium.” Their particular brand of dreamy, ambient new wave would be the perfect companion for an afternoon looking up at the darkened ceiling of a domed room with your feet propped on the cushion in front of you.

Lead singer Steve Schiltz sounds like an updated Duncan Sheik or another of the other sensitive mid-’90s male singers of the Matthew Sweet variety. The songs off Longwave’s third album, There’s a Fire, are sadder, less angry versions of the thoughtful ballads on Interpol’s Turn On the Bright Lights. The bouncy “Tell Me I’m Wrong” offers a nice change of pace from the mopier tone of the rest of the album, tempering the record’s lyrical seriousness with Woa-ohs in the chorus and blips in the background.

There’s a Fire, out today, has the added benefit of being produced by uber-producer John Leckie, most famous for his work on Radiohead’s The Bends, though he’s also worked with lots of rock royalty like John and Yoko, Pink Floyd, and George Harrison. To celebrate their new release, the band is performing for free today in the Virgin Megastore in New York’s Union Square. In July, Longwave will play a handful of dates with hard rocking Brits Kasabian.

Longwave tour dates:

6/28, New York, NY (Virgin Megastore, Union Square)6/29, New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom)7/18, Pittsburgh, PA (Mr. Small’s Theatre) *7/19, Rochester, NY (Water St. Music Hall) * 7/20, Cleveland, OH (The Grog Shop) * 7/21, Cincinnati, OH (Bogarts) * 7/23, Indianapolis, IN (The Patio) * (* – with Kasabian)

Links: Longwave official site