“Fade” by Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo
Any question of Yo La Tengo being trapped in amber after Jesse Jarnow’s career-summing biography, Big Day Coming, is answered on their new LP, Fade, with the opening buzz of “Ohm.” The New Jersey trio: Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew, hew to their template with a canny mix of pensive sing a-longs and throbbing rockers. Production duties are handled by John McEntire (Tortoise), and his eye for detail polishes this strange gem, holding it so the light shines on different facets, especially the dynamics of “Well You Better.”
From the hushed beauty of “I’ll Be Around” to the concise grind of “Paddle Forward,” they continually refine the notion of what a Yo La Tengo song is. Lyrically, the common thread is “hanging on in tough times,” with the band hitting a high water mark on the beautiful morass of “The Point Of It.” The baroque pop pleasure of “Before We Run” brings it all back home, closing hopefully and affirming that after all these years, this is a band resolutely on their own path, and we’re just along for the ride.
Keep an eye out for album release parties in LA, SF, and Seattle before the official tour.