It’s super-hard to really nail down your favorite albums, especially when its only July and the whole thing seems pretty arbitrary, to put it lightly. But, like all your favorite sites, hits matter; they make you feel cool. So, I have concocted my own list of the Best Albums of 2019…so far. This in no way is a representation of the whole of the site contributors, and merely exists as poor commentary by a blogger with too much time on his hands. Enjoy!
This weekend is filled with a ridiculous amount of good shows to catch and seems to be slated to remind you why it is you choose to live in The Live Music Capitol of The World. With an extra day to your weekend, there’s really no excuse not to get out and see some quality local and touring acts. Here are my picks for the next three nights for a killer time out for the holiday weekend.
Someone reached out the other day to ask me what I’d been listening to a lot, and I had two albums on repeat pretty much the entire week, one being Olden Yolk‘s Living Theatre (the other is that Martha record!). Musically, it’s a magical journey that’s far more diverse than I expected, and I mean that in the best way possible…”Grand Palais” gives you another look at the band’s new LP. There’s these psychedelic elements, though they often end up being disguised beneath these textured layers of sort of Spector-esque pop vibes; it’s disorienting and captivating, and ultimately emphatic with the drumming of Booker Stardrum (what a name!). It even closes with this little spoken word jam journey, further spinning the band and the listener into a pop spiral! Living Theatre is out May 17th via Trouble in Mind Records.
I spent a lot of time with the first Olden Yolk record; my wife and I played it a lot when our daughter was born just because it was both beautiful and quiet. Having spent some time with the band’s new LP, I’m really excited for folks to listen to it; it has the band branching out, expanding their palate. On this new single, Caity Shaffer completely steals the show, stringing her deep, dulcet tones across a sparse musical landscape, filled with this solitary pulse and tinkering piano line. It’s a solemn number, matched by the black and white video work that accompanies the single today. Living Theatre has the group growing into something far more captivating then even I (a fan) expected; it’s out on May 17th via Trouble In Mind.
When I think back to my listening last year, it definitely involved a great bit of Olden Yolk; it was a special favorite when we first had our daughter and needed something light to listen to in her presence. Today Shane and Caity announce their return with Living Theatre, a new effort for Trouble in Mind Records. Once the opening strum of the guitars fades away here, you can tell that there are grander goals in the songwriting with this new album; I love the little notes underneath the surface like the way the keys build gradually or the little hint of a shaker that draws your ear nearer. Somehow, they’ve crafted a sound that still has the intimacy of their first release, yet offers up broader sounds that pervade your listening surroundings. Look for Living Theatre on May 17th.
Olden Yolk is a name you should be familiar with already, but if you’re just catching on, be warned that this is a record that seems destined to be in a lot of conversations for the remainder of 2018. I love how we get to glimpse the band finding their sound on this album, with Shane Butler taking over vocal duties on this latest ditty…though Caity Shaffer offers some solid vocal support. I love how intricate the guitar sounds, though I’m sure that’s just my lack of musical inclination…just has something spiritual about it. Be sure to keep your eye out for the band’s self-titled debut on February 23rd via Trouble In Mind.
The majority of early press for Olden Yolk probably relies around Shane Butler’s role in Quilt; that’s all well and good, seeing as it’s a good starting point. But, on the band’s latest single, it looks as if Caity Shaffer will get accolades…deservedly so. For the first half of the track, we get a sort of warped pop number, ringing guitars uplifting Shaffer’s voice all the way to the swell of the chorus. What struck me as the finest moment actually comes in at the 1:47 mark, completely changing the time and beat of the track…similar to what my faves Deep Time have done. It’s fleeting, but it’s an interesting touch that elevates the tune in some fashion. The group are set to release their self-titled album on Trouble In Mind on February 23rd.
When listening to this track, the knowledge that Olden Yolk is the project of Shane from Quilt might inform your listening. That’s well and good, but what you should also note is the indulgence in the true atmosphere of psychedelia crafted in the track below. Notes billow like smoke in a dimly lit room, with time taken to really let the guitar licks to find their own way into the world. The vocal performance is quite captivating as well, especially when joined by a heavy vocal accompaniment that’s sure to entrance you. The debut self-titled LP will be released by Trouble in Mind on February 23rd.
Olden Yolk is the project of Shane Butler of Quilt, and while I love his music (in both realms) I have the utmost respect for his strength as a human. When you click on this song, be sure to visit the site it leads you to, and read the story of Shane’s mother’s passing. It’s led him to release the sign in hopes of both raising money and bringing awareness to mental illness by donating all funds raised to Bring Change 2 Mind. We’ve all got a lot to do to make the world a better place, and this seems like as good a cause as any.