We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

The fourth album by D.C.’s Edsel, Techniques of Speed Hypnosis, is the finest example of the band’s itinerant mining of musical treasure, from art-punk to psychedelic improvisation to pure pop. While its previous release, Detroit Folly, featured the quartet’s richest songwriting to date, the disc’s faux-live sound was fool’s gold—improper, lusterless production for songs so bright. But for its major-label debut on Relativity, Edsel traveled to Liverpool to work with producer Anjali Duli (My Bloody Valentine, Oasis), who crafted the proper mood by precisely polishing Speed‘s glowing, hypnotic music. “I think [Speed Hypnosis] is a logical extension of our last record and the record before that,” explains guitarist Steve Raskin. Citing a bigger budget, Raskin says the group “got to combine some of the songwriting things we had been doing on Detroit Folly with the experimental nature of Everlasting Belt Company.” On the riveting “Glazed by the Cold Front,” the result is a seamless combination of Edsel’s textured, churning guitars and Sohrab Habibion’s melodically barked, enigmatic lyrics. The experimental bits appear as improvised interludes. “The way we look at making records is [that] it is not just a collection of songs, it should be a coherent thing,” says bassist Geoff Sanoff. New addition Steven Albert fills Edsel’s Spinal Tap spot, providing straight-ahead heavy-rock drumming to anchor the tightest of the group’s numerous lineups.