Yukon Blonde – [Album]

Monday, 29 March 2010

If someone were to say the words 'Yukon Blonde' to you without much in the way of background information, what sort of image would come to mind? Something chilly, chaste and beautiful? Presumably, such would be the case with most people – it's the sort of phrase that brims with possibility.

The self-titled album by Yukon Blonde does not disappoint in that regard.

From the opening thump of “Rather Be With You,” Yukon Blonde effortlessly gives a listener's imagination plenty of fuel as the band contrasts rock n' roll beats and vocal melodies against ethereal guitars and letting the idea grow on those listening before inverting that dynamic so that the dominant parts lay back and the passive ones step up. The first time it happens in “Rather Be With You,”listeners will go back and listen to the song again to see how it happened – it's an almost subliminal exchange – before coming to expect it and even crave it in the songs that follow afterward. It does happen again in songs like “Kumiko Song,” “Wind Blows” and “Trivial Fires” but the band has even more tricks up its sleeve as they dose listeners some mildly hallucinogenic timbres and begin to throw some unexpected gems into the mix. The lush but simple multi-part vocal harmonies in “Kumiko Song” and “Wind Blows seem to evaporate and are replaced by folksy and classic (in a Meat Puppets sort of way) guitars in “Babies Don't Like Blues Anymore”and the laid-back anthemia un “1000 Years” will set the hearts of those already caught by the band's unique disposition to racing in anticipation. The funny thing is, while these sound like dramatic or anthemic devices for any band to use, that's exactly what they somehow become in the hands of Yukon Blonde; the band manages to make the terms under which each song hits listeners a fanciful romp without really tweeking it much or messing with the basic conventions of them, just the fact just the fact that the band lays its hands on them is enough – somehow.

Such an effect seems almost guaranteed to have those hooked by Yukon Blonde wondering where they can find more music that sounds like this. As the album fades out (and it does play like an extended fade) through “Loyal Man,” listeners will notice that they seem to be glowing in spite of some of the chillier components of Yukon Blonde. It seems improbable for such a thing to occur if all you're doing is reading this review, but take a chance – Yukon Blonde is the definition of “the record that will get you when you least expect it.”



Yukon Blonde
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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