Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin has been featured here a couple times in the past few years, and I wrote about them even more on the old, lost version of the site. To say that I love this band is an understatement. They’re a model of a certain kind of artistry to me, and their music has been in my life for about a decade now. So it’s pretty sweet to say that their new album, “The High Country,” is probably the best thing they’ve ever done. I love their debut pretty hard, and that was what got them any attention in the first place, but this album is a total doozy. Just 11 tracks of ruthlessly catchy songs. I’ll go so far as to say it reminds me of Weezer’s “Blue Album” a whole lot, even though that comparison is both hyperbolic and inadequate and (definitely) overused at this point, it still gives you an idea of how enjoyable these songs are. Trevor Forever represents the album well: pace, distortion, urgency, concision, and beauty.
Dude. Dude. If there’s an album for the mists of a verdurous green jungle, it’s Creature Comforts. This is the music for neon-pink gorillas idly eating polka-dotted fruit. Flamingos, oddly, live in this jungle, and they keep an eye on their heart rates with their Apple watches. It rains from clouds that live four feet off the forest floor. The jungle jungles, the fauna hoots and hollers, the leaves and vines stretch and tingle and suspire.
The Avalanches have been out of the spotlight for much, much longer than they were ever in the spotlight. But let’s try to remember that they were capable of creating moments of magic, on a pretty consistent basis, and that they can still do so, when they want to. This is an edit they released two years ago that I only just discovered, and it’s disgustingly good. Whatever talents they have, the passage of time and an unwillingness to exhibit them in public has not dulled them at all.
Other Lives are kind of like a rustic little Radiohead Jr. (this is especially evident in their arrangements–just the way their songs flow is reminiscent of calmer/statelier RH), but that’s merely what’s on the surface. Imitation of a certain form, well, that’s one of the ways to build your own thing. Rituals as an album ebbs and flows, one minute a slantwise companion to something like All Tiny Creatures’ Harbors and another a continuation of Midlake’s “Young Bride” (amazing song). Not really music that comforts or soothes, but music that you put on for a specific feeling: low-key drama, solving a case for household internal affairs (why are the towels in the bathroom still wet?), etc.
It might be true that Jacco Gardner was present for the filming of Zabriskie Point, but maybe only in spirit–he was not a second assistant grip on the film, nor a production assistant, and he did not fetch coffee for Antonioni or anyone else while filming long scenes in the desert. Perhaps Gardner was observing the shoot from his place in the ether, as a -18 year-old soul. Gardner’s music has that feeling, that yearning for a different era, one that’s way gone. “Find Yourself” is like the scene in Blow-Up when the Yardbirds are playing in a secret little backroom and David Hemmings wanders through on his search. Gardner’s made an album that’s like that–a hidden thing that you stumble upon and become enchanted by.