See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Head cheese 

We Are Scientists are following a success template traced by legions (the Rapture, Bloc Party, blah blah). After self-releasing a series of EPs beginning in 2001, WAS got scooped up by Virgin, hence their full-length debut, With Love and Squalor (out Jan. 10). What makes it good is the execution of detail — from the tense guitars to skitter-pop hooks to singer-guitarist Keith Murray’s woeful croon. Murray quit obsessing over the album’s release to share some other monomanias:

5. No sleep ’til ... I live in Brooklyn, or, at least, that’s where I send my rent checks. I’m never here, though, so, before we go back on tour, I’m all about wantonly indulging in pizza, bagels, gunplay, being brutally unfriendly to neighbors — all the things that define Brooklyn to me.

4. How’s about a fedora? I could use a good hat. My head, it’s always cold, always windblown. My hair is always disheveled, and not in that fashionable way that has paid such huge dividends for so many of my contemporaries.

3. Pawnshop heart. The sweetest instrument shop in all of Brooklyn just moved across the street from my apartment, and I’m finding that I’m going out of my way to take advantage of their superior repair services. Guitars, a bass head, shoes, a toaster.

2. Pumped for the sophomore slump. Our first album isn’t even out in the U.S. yet, and already I’m stressing over writing the next one. Should we change our sound? Hire can’t-miss songwriter Linda Perry?

1. My wallet. It’s got to be around here somewhere.


Jan. 15 at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7665; with the Oxford Collapse.

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