Singlesss by YardsssRelease date: March 31, 2017
Label: Self Group
Yardsss occupies a brittle crystalline place in music. Part noisy shoegaze and part experimental IDM, the music makes both the head and the heart happy as it is as intellectually stimulating as it is emotionally satisfying. Singlesss is a case in point; the band’s sixth release it is a collection of every single and collaboration to-date anincluding some previously unreleased material and will be available at the end of March, .
While there is no bad song on the album there are a couple of standouts. The band’s rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ (streamed below) really is a wonderful trip. It’s a bit like a musical version of architectural salvage, where an old item is repurposed for a new life in the digital world, like a barn door being converted into a dining room table for a modern rustic look. The song still carries the majesty of the original, but now with steel and digitization grafted into its DNA.
‘Sharing is Killing’ is also notable. Layers of fuzzy guitars blanket rhythmic tweets and pops and a slow psychedelic plodding beat before degenerating into a mess of beats. ‘333 1’ is a slow burner that takes a bit to get going, but is probably my favorite on the record. It’s fuzzy, repetitive, anthemic and has a good beat. 14 out of 14.
The album has a lot of highs and not a lot of lows. Where it works is in the ever changing web of sounds and harmonies the listener is subjected to that form songs that are often surprisingly coherent and emotionally touching. Where it doesn’t is in the recording quality. For a record this dependent on sonic texture each sound needs to be high quality and the mix has to be such that the full spectrum is audible. Unfortunately the mix is a bit heavy in the midrange, which can get annoying on low quality systems.
Overall, Yardsss is definitely on to something here with the mixes of styles, of synthetic and organic, old and new, and I suspect we’ll see more and better from the band over time.