Molly Ringwald was responsible for many of my musical discoveries. It all came full circle the other day when I met my teen idol, who actually said to me, "Cool girls listen to Built to Spill." I listen to Built to Spill. For three albums now, the trio has spun intricate yet super-strength webs of heady indie pop. "Ancient Melodies of the Future" doesn't stray far from the fold: Frontman Doug Martsch has once again created a set of otherworldly songs about the flaws of humanity, wrapped it all in swirling guitars, and grounded it with four-on-the-floor drums and straightforward bass.
Witness the twisting "Happiness," complete with early Flaming Lips guitar, or the larger-than-life echo of Neil Young on "Don't Try." "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" is a sunny, jangling, exuberant love song that sounds as if the band was turned loose in a toy shop. When the catchy, swaying guitars kick in over Martsch's dreamy helium vocals, there's no mistaking who you're listening to.