Do you like Stereolab? Do you ever miss their earlier lounge-jam sound when constantly confronted with the complex polyrhythms and whole-tone scales that they’ve become fond of in their more recent work? I kind of suspect that the band’s lead singer, Laetitia Sadier, sometimes has that feeling herself, because A Few Steps More, the second album by her side project Monade, sounds an awful lot like good old-fashioned space age bachelor pad music. This is not a bad thing.

With Monade, Sadier has room to do her own arrangements of her own songs, and the result is a much warmer, looser sound than the immaculately-produced soundscapes that Stereolab tends towards. Less complexity doesn’t imply a less rich sound, however: in spite of its often languorous pace and its lounge-music influences, A Few Steps More is hardly aural wallpaper: on “Das Kind,” voices and motifs bop in and out of the mix, changing the feel of the song from a walk in the park to a walk in a spooky forest and back again. “Sensible Et Extensible” turns left, then right, then left again as if it’s lost and refuses to ask for directions, especially when it keeps wandering into such interesting neighborhoods. It’s the kind of music that you can put on in the background while you work, but is more rewarding when you sit down with a pair of headphones and give it your full attention.

Also: It’s nice that Sadier plays the trombone, but it’ll be even nicer when she learns to actually use her lungs to put some air into the thing.