Atmospheric indie to take you away
Yo La Tengo may have started making music in the mid-’80s, but with the newest release of There’s A Riot Going On, that fact may be surprising to many. There’s A Riot Going On has a fresh sound to it that keeps Yo La Tengo very modern.
“Shades of Blue” is early on the album and starts the album off strong. It has a very indie sound to it, from the guitar chords to the vocal stylization. This track definitely gives off the vibe that it should be featured on the next big indie film in theaters. The song seems fairly simple on the surface but has different layers between the music and lyricism. It definitely makes for some easy listening and you can’t help but tap your toes along with the slower beat.
Just a few tracks later “For You Too” stays true to the indie sound mentioned before, but with a slightly different approach. The vocal style is consistent between the two tracks mentioned, it is the feel of the guitar that changes in “For You Too.” It is slightly more distorted, which adds a completely different layer than what was heard before, but it works really well. This track doesn’t feel awkward or anything because Yo La Tengo did such a great job of balancing all of these unique sounds and making them one.
The airy feel from the beginning of the album makes a comeback on the track “Dream Dream Away.” On first listen, someone might think this is just an instrumental track, but it is near the end of it that it all changes. As the music builds up ever so slightly, vocals come in adding to it as well. This makes for the perfect vibe to match a song titled “Dream Dream Away.” It is easy to get lost in the feeling this song provides. There are so many beautiful, small pieces to it that really make this track stand out with each listen.
“What Chance Have I Got” is entertaining to listen to just based on the many different sounds that can be heard as the song progresses. The stillness in the music mixed with the lower vocals really gives meaning to the peaceful effect Yo La Tengo goes for in its music. This track really showcases the different pieces that come together to form one of the many strong tracks on There’s A Riot Going On.
The last track on the album, “Here You Are,” has an interesting start to it, with slow music starting over a pre-recorded voicemail. It doesn’t sound like it would fit into the rest of the album, but the way the music builds makes it work perfectly. The tranquility felt throughout the entirety of the album does not fade at any point, especially in the final track.
This album may be called There’s A Riot Going On, but there is nothing chaotic about it. Anyone that enjoys setting a specific vibe (preferably a chill one) should definitely check out the newest installment by Yo La Tengo.