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The Aislers Set

If you feel good about the successful battles you've fought with yourself to prevent perfectly crafted, intelligent pop music from taking over your life, watch out. You have a new challenge in store, a challenge that may be greater than any you've ever faced. It's called The Aislers Set.

The mastermind of the band is Amy Linton, who was also one of the masterminds of the late great Bay Area noise pop trio Henry's Dress. After that band split, Linton briefly joined Go Sailor with Rose Melberg of Tiger Trap and The Softies before descending into her basement to spend some quality time with her eight-track. After recording enough songs for an album, she recruited a group of friends from other Bay Area bands -- guitarist Wyatt Cusick from Track Star, bassist Alicia VandenHeuval from Poundsign, and drummer Yoshi Nakamoto from Scenic Vermont, Poastal, and Fisticuffs Bluff (keyboardist Jen Cohen of The Fairways would join the group later). And so The Aislers Set (the name reportedly comes from a dream Linton had) was born.

And boy, are they good. With her brilliant songwriting talent, Linton seems incapable of writing a song that is anything less than a miracle. But with the new band she has eliminated much of the lo-fi soupiness that characterized Henry's Dress, leaving nothing but the songs themselves to bounce and glitter and dance through your consciousness. The Aislers Set has a classic sound that recalls the best pop music of the '60s, like The Zombies and The Kinks in the U.K. and Phil Spector's "wall of sound" in the U.S. Yet these influences are all filtered through distinctly end-of-century indie sensibilities, resulting in rich, layered songs that are both timeless and current.

The Aislers Set have two albums to their credit thus far: 1998's Terrible Things Happen, featuring "Long Division" and "California, and 2000's fantastic The Last Match which features "The Way to Market Station" and "One Half Laughing."