Despite a career that’s now crossed the 20-year plateau, Guster remains one of the most criminally underrated pop acts working in the music industry these days. Unfairly lumped into the widely maligned “college rock” genre, their last two long players, 2006’s Ganging Up On The Sun and 2010’s Easy Wonderful, are, in fact, chock full of melodic pop gems that offer insight on topics as diverse as righting the wrongs of the past, frustration with the political system, and becoming a parent. But don’t get it twisted: “Dad rock,” this most certainly isn’t.
On August 2, Guster will release a new six song EP, On The Ocean. After 14 years in the major label system, this will be the band’s first self-released album since 1994’s Parachute. As a way of introducing their new material to the world, the band has decided to take the novel approach of debuting their new material by way of the wildly popular social media listening post, Turntable.fm. Why there? “Mostly because it feels organic,” Guster lead singer Ryan Miller told VH1 exclusively earlier today. “I’ve spent time on Turntable [under the moniker DJ Mitchell Spinach] and I use it. It doesn’t feel ‘market-y’ to me if it’s something I actually interact with and understand. These sites that are popping up are incredible, it’s so f***in easy to get turned onto new and old music.”
Miller will be debuting the group’s new material —”I’m at least gonna play the ‘Mitchell Spinach Remix’ of ‘This Is How It Feels To Have A Broken Heart,’ probably another one or two?”, he explained— in a Turntable.fm room entitled Guster’s Polka Party at 9 p.m. ET tonight, but don’t expect an all-accordion playlist. Expect to hear tracks from current Miller faves The Poison Tree, The Rosebuds, Cults and Washed Out (“Love this band”), too. And what about the folks at the Universal Music Group, the distributor that put out their last album (the sessions from which were the genesis of a few of these tracks)? Miller isn’t sweating it. “Well, this will be our first self-released record in almost 14 years, so, I don’t think they give a sh*t.”