Welcome again to the quietest loud band – or the loudest quiet band – on the planet. Their seventeenth studio album is so quintessentially Yo La Tengoish: Ira Kaplan’s squalling guitars and murmured vocals and Georgia Hubley’s nonetheless, introspective ballads are each right here in superb impact. This time the band recorded near-live – the premise of many of the 9 songs is Kaplan, drummer/vocalist Hubley and bassist James McNew enjoying within the room collectively – and what’s hanging is the distinction between Kaplan and Hubley.
Even when Kaplan is wringing his guitar for noise – on the opening trio of Sinatra Drive Breakdown, Fallout and Tonight’s Episode – it sounds as if Hubley is enjoying with brushes, attempting to be as unobtrusive as doable, not simply by way of her minimal use of fills, however quantity. That’s maybe the most important distinction between YLT in 2023 and 1993; again then, she was hammering her equipment, as if to compete.
Mortality pops up: “Put together to die,” Kaplan cautions on Till It Occurs. “The ache creeps in anyhow / You’re feeling alone / Buddies are gone,” Hubley gives on the layered, digital Miles Away. Better of all is Hubley’s Aselstine, with its single-line summation of grief: “I can’t promote your books, although you requested me to,” she sings, almost whispering. It’s not good – the title monitor is seven and a half minutes you would possibly higher use boiling eggs – however it’s its personal small surprise, as each Yo La Tengo album appears to be.