By Ben Salmon

For The Bulletin

If you go

What: Lost Lander, with Corner Gospel Explosion

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $5, plus fees in advance at the website below

Where: The Astro Lounge, 939 NW Bond St., Bend

Contact: www.redlightpro.com or 541-388-0116

One of the integral architects of Lost Lander’s sound won’t perform with the band Saturday night at The Astro Lounge in Bend (see “If you go”).

In fact, no matter when or where you attend one of the Portland group’s shows, you’re unlikely to see this guy on stage.

His name is Brent Knopf, and he’s best known as the man behind Portland indie rock band Ramona Falls, and as a former member of Menomena. He’s also a studio wizard, a connoisseur of synth sounds and a sounding board for Lost Lander’s founder and core songwriter, Matt Sheehy, since the recording of the band’s 2012 debut “DRRT.”

Sheehy had released an excellent solo album, “Tigerphobia,” in 2008. When it came time to follow that up, though, the project took on more collaborative feel.

“It wasn’t necessarily a solo project (anymore). It was more like a two-person band between me and (Brent),” Sheehy said in a telephone interview. “But Brent wasn’t going to tour with us, so it was like, ‘Oh, OK. I need to assemble a band.’”

Reviews of “DRRT” ranged from pretty positive to glowing praise, and Sheehy and his new band mates — keyboardist Sarah Fennell, drummer Patrick Hughes and bassist Dave Lowensohn (who has since left the band and been replaced by William Seiji Marsh) — spent a bunch of time on the road supporting the record, not to mention soaking up music together.

“We were listening to a lot of dance music. Everybody was getting a lot more into dance music together, and we were also on tour and seeing the same bands together and getting inspired by the same bands,” Sheehy said. “When it came time to kind of play around with (new) songs, we all had a really similar musical vocabulary that we had developed over a couple of years. In a weird way, we almost had the same influences, so it was really easy to communicate with each other.”

You can hear that cohesion throughout Lost Lander’s new album, “Medallion,” which the band self-released in February. It is, at its core, an electro-pop-rock record, where nervy electric guitars and a bloodless rhythm section burble under a glassy sea of keyboards, synthesized strings, plugged-in percussion and other digital doodads.

Sonically, big-name kinfolk to Lost Lander include Chvrches and Passion Pit. But on “Medallion,” Sheehy and his mates (and Knopf) strike a better balance between their two sides — electronic and rock — than those other bands, veering back and forth between the two and never letting one overwhelm the other. For every soaring, synth-heavy, sugar rush of a song like “Gemini” or “SunBurns,” there’s an “Alpine Street” or a “Walking on a Wire,” which feel ever-so-slightly more organic, like Snow Patrol retrofitted with a robot heart and reanimated for the 22nd century. Sheehy’s vocal style — sturdy and approachable — and his lyrics about love and loss and life help ground the songs, too.

The stylistic balance on “Medallion” is not just a product of many days spent in a van and many nights spent on tour, however. The album also benefits from a growing sense of trust between Sheehy and all his collaborators.

While making “DRRT,” Sheehy said, “I realized Brent was going to have a strong voice in the project, and there was this moment where I just decided, oh, let’s see what happens if I don’t try to have control over stuff and I just allow ideas to happen and … not try to hang on too tightly to any preconceived ideas of what things should be. And that attitude has just bled over into every single aspect of the band.”

That includes, of course, the folks who’ll join Sheehy on stage Saturday night, as well as Knopf, Lost Lander’s studio guru and “prolific idea generator,” Sheehy said.

“We were noticing it by the end of making this record, we would listen back to a mix and we’d both have the exact same comments about it,” he said. “We ended up so much on the same page that we were practically finishing each others’ sentences. Which was awesome. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”

— Reporter: bsalmon@ bendbulletin.com

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