Unlike Anything Else
Every so often there is an album that shocks listeners with its sonic originality, whether that be through the blending of two previously unmixed genres or the creation of a sound palate that is wholly unique from that of any previously created record. Albums like this become inherently rarer as time goes on. There is of course the occasional spike when a new instrument comes into play, for instance the rise of electronic instruments through the ’80s but especially during their inception in the ’60s, but generally it’s getting more and more difficult to surprise a listener. On Yellow, experimental artist Naomi Punk blends elements of folk, psych rock, and indie pop to create a wholly unique listening experience that is sure to surprise and delight anyone who has grown weary of hearing the same thing over and over.
Starting at the beginning of the album with both tracks “Introduction I” and “Introduction II,” the album does a fantastic job of concealing its true intentions. Tapes flicker and fall of the reel, instruments clank together in seemingly random patterns all while a dark ambient synth wave pulses in the background adding a layer of menace to two strange and unique tracks. The album continues to shock with its breadth of scope when it fluctuates between dissonant guitars and song structure that sound as though they belong on The Lemon of Pink on tracks such as “Cookie” and “Cardboard.” Perhaps one of the most delightful things about this album’s unpredictability is that a majority of the tracks cling to the shorter side, allowing themes and sounds to be briefly explored while cramming as much variety into the album as possible.
One song that actually seems to have more traceable roots is “Tiger Pipe,” which would sound right at home on an earlier era Animal Collective album. Strange organic sounds burble in the background while instruments are smacked about in a strange and dissonant manner, creating a sense of disorientation similar to that of waking up from an unexpected and dream filled nap. The following track, “My Shadow” carries over some of the same elements but could just as easily feel at home as an interlude track from an odd ’80s pop album, the beat is driving and fun while a whiny synth line takes up a large portion of the front of the track, continuing to add to a sonic package that is so unique it bears constant repeating.
If there are any music lovers who have found themselves growing bored of the same genres and the same styles, they should be implored to listen to Yellow. Very few albums are as shockingly original, and even fewer still manage to incorporate that originality and ambition into such a cohesive package. This record should serve as an inspiration to a countless number of bands and will hopefully re-engage listeners who have grown tired of the same thing, as this album contains nothing anyone would ever expect, but everything they could want.