It’s been over a year since we’ve heard anything from Saline, but their new single “Knee Socks” proves they’ve been in the lab redefining their sound. Since their debut EP, Dumb, the Athens band has added Mikey Heptinstall of WF Addams and Juna to the lineup, while refining their frantic brand of experimental pop into more linear territory.

If Dumb invoked the intensity and complexity of ’90s shoegaze, “Knee Socks” is firmly rooted in the crunchy pop of the mid ’00s. The track begins with a rather gratuitous psychedelic intro but about a minute in the band pivots to wall-shaking fuzz and slap happy chords. It’s too soon to say whether Saline will follow in the footsteps of Speedy Ortiz, but on “Knee Socks” they toss out hooks with frank nonchalance while channeling all the sunshine-y energy of a solar flare.

The band is currently recording their upcoming album at Chase Park Transduction, and though most details are still under wraps, guitarist Terence Chiyezhan provided us with some clues to the release date and the nature of the record. He explains, “‘Knee Socks’ is only a taste of the excellence to come this spring when we release our second album. We would like to thank our sponsors, especially NASA and also the American people who voted for us to replace the Voyager Golden Record which is slated to enter our planet’s orbit this Summer of ’17.” Such a quirky and cryptic message seems appropriate for the band. Still, the statement is evidence that though “Knee Socks” is single-worthy, it won’t be an exact blueprint for the upcoming album. Check it out below.

Saline will perform on Friday, March 3 at the Caledonia Lounge in support of Dead Neighbors, Scooterbabe, and Twin Studies. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $5-7. 18+ to enter.

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Facebook: @salineATH