This week sees the release of Los Angeles shoegaze trio Autolux's second album, Transit Transit. To say this album's release has been a long time coming is a major understatement. How long exactly? At the time of the release of Transit Transit's predecessor, Future Perfect, Rodney Dangerfield and Christopher Reeve were still alive, John Kerry and George W. Bush were in a heated clash for the Presidency, and in-the-know Ivy League college students were beginning to flock to a little website known as thefacebook.com.

We're sure that Autolux is tired of hearing about how six years went by between the releases of their first and second albums, and that writers should be focusing on the music of Transit Transit instead. Thankfully, we can report that their new album is well worth the wait.

There's little evidence that a drought in songwriting was the cause of Transit Transit's delay, as some of the best tracks on the album have been staples of their live show for years (this FYM writer remembers being blown away by "The Science of Imaginary Solutions" at the 2008 Make Music Pasadena Festival). The same shadowy intrigue that made Future Perfect a modern Loveless is intact on the new album, ensuring that Autolux's songs are as good as ever. The group did make successful attempts to expand their already grand range of sound. Perhaps the most significant change in Autolux's sound is the addition of piano. The keys are best put to use on the haunted space ballad "Spots" which wouldn't feel out of place next to "The Great Gig in the Sky" or "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" on Pink Floyd or Elton John's respective albums. A message coded in heartache may make singer Eugene Goreshter feel "drunk and sad," but don't let those words distract you from the fact that "Spots" is nothing but pure ecstasy floating on by.

If John Lennon had survived to incorporate state-of-the-art guitar and synthesizer effects into his songs, then he may have written something like "The Bouncing Wall", which starts off with two effects-processed chords not unlike a robotic "Imagine". Carla Azar's galloping Plastic Ono Band-esque drums kick in just before her steady, peaceful voice carries the song along its kaleidoscopic narrative.

With its title track and "The Science of Imaginary Solutions", the album respectively features opening and closing songs that were designed to begin and end an album as expansive as Transit Transit. On "Transit Transit", piano accompanies exuberant horns and backing vocals, but the sorrowful vocal melody reminds you that this album is more about isolation than celebration. "The Science of Imaginary Solutions" is definitely the climax of the album as it builds up the listener with lengthy intensity as Azar's voice echoes the opening track's horns in triumphant fashion. "Science", one of the finest songs of 2010, feels like the homecoming landing of some kind of epic sci-fi voyage, which, given Transit Transit's long road to release, may be a feeling that Autolux knows all too well.

The entire album is streamable over at their MySpace page, and is available for purchase HERE.

Check out the album opener, "Transit Transit", below:

Autolux has a few West Coast dates coming up:

August 11 - Great American Music Hall - San Francisco
August 13 - Hawthorne Theatre - Portland
August 14 - Neumo's - Seattle
September 17 - The Glass House - Pomona
September 18 - The El Rey - Los Angeles
And a yet-to-be-rescheduled date for the band's recently canceled Amoeba Hollywood gig at the end of this tour.

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