26 Jul

Yes, Youth Lagoon is one of those dudes. Drenched in reverb. EX-treme reverb. You know what I mean. Distortion and echoes and effortlessly heart-wrenching vocal whisper-like musings from the broken soul. With reverb. Think Antlers ‘Hospice’. With a little more…reverb. And a little less genocidal-ear-drum-massacre distortion.

Yes we can’t understand the words half the time. Think Bon Iver, bless ‘im. Yes he’s plagued with the crooning indie school boy whimper. Angus Stone, eat your heart out. (Anyone even remember that old chap? Oh that’s right, you went out and called yourself something worthy of a posthumously-titled, Romantic poet’s final semiautobiographical epic before he grew old and withered away into the oblivion of ‘artists-we-once-appreciated’. Lady of the Sunshine. Only joking. You’re still smokin’ in my eyes Mr. Stone. Still a gun. Still a smokin’ gun. See what I did there?)*

This is all endearingly teasing to be frank. I don’t give a damn about the reverb, weighty audio effects and inarticulate whines of the reigning postmodern Indie Kings. I say postmodern because their lyrics – not unlike the vague (and arguably, therefore worthless) and indefinite term imbued upon an era that can no longer be called ‘modernism’ – are inaudible and indefinable enough, to almost be themselves in a constant state of flux. Like the era itself, who’s to say that’s of any great worth or of no worth at all. Indeed, what is worth? What is the qualitative measure of ‘any’? What ‘is’?


This is what happens when we have to use words. Humanity complicates everything.

SO. Montana. Review it. That’s your task. Get on it woman.

In short, this video clip is great. As is the song. Probably not much to it when you pull it apart from a technical music point of view. But it’s incredibly moving. And reverb does always help. Makes everything feel magical and nostalgic and just better. I think we must’ve been conditioned that way a long, long time ago. We can probably thank the Gregorian Chanting Monks and their high-ceilinged Medieval Churches for that. Tyler T Williams does a beautiful job on this music video. Out with the curly-haired white boy with mud on his cheeks running through open fields to jungle-inspired indie-folk rock with featuring the occasional glockenspiel and banjo! There just isn’t any narrative quality in that my friend. Especially when it’s been done for every second song out there. Occasionally they’ll include some sheep, or a tree with interesting roots. So thank you Tyler T for having your kid play baseball and for shooting at night. And for shooting in a lake. And for having legit-looking costumes. And for throwing a toy soldier with some baby blue smoke about the place. That was cool.

Williams, what a marvellous concoction. You’ve somehow produced a child born of Terrence Malick and Tony Hawk. The filmic beauty of The Tree of Life and grainy Polaroid photographs (in 2.35: 1 Anamorphic Scope YEHA) whilst cutting clips together in synch with the beat; like a mad dog skateboarding vid.

It’s pretty and artistic, whilst also being engaging. Don’t see that everyday. This is pretty special.

*Apologies. It would appear I’ve been living under a rock for the past few months. Angus Stone returns! And apparently it’s quite good. (Nevertheless, it was still worth the dig)

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