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Yukon Blonde

January 19, 2011

Yukon Blonde – Yukon Blonde [February 2010, Bumstead]

I’m not sure what it is that I like so much about Yukon Blonde. Reviews of their eponymous debut album brand it bland and inoffensive, and I can’t completely disagree.. but there is something about it that just catches my ear. Is it their awesomely relaxed guitar solos? Or their almost humourous use of barely audible honkey-tonk sounding piano? Don’t get me wrong, Yukon Blonde aren’t a comedy band by any stretch, but they certainly do put a smile on my face.
Yukon Blonde – Rather Be With You

So I suppose I’d be withholding the truth if I didn’t say the debut full-length from this Canadian threepiece lacks originality, but in this case I don’t think it’s that bad a thing. I doubt Yukon Blonde expected to top the charts with this record, but as I listen to it now, it has pleased me enough to inspire me to write a little something something, and share Yukon Blonde with you here. It might be run-of-the-mill stuff, but the relaxed harmonising vocals between lead singer Jeff Innes and bassist/backup vocalist Brandon Scott, along with the upbeat guitar twiddles and relaxed but powerful drumming, tickle my fancy just enough to keep coming back.
With album opener “Rather Be With You”, Yukon Blonde show us what they have to offer: reverberating vocals driven in harmony with the effects-laden guitar, and a catchy beat. “Blood Cops” sounds like a merrier Fleet Foxes until it is rudely disrupted by a final chorus of “lalalas”. The jarring rhythm of “Kumiko Song” is Band of Horses-esque with it’s jaunty rhythm, but it’s probably best not to listen to the lyrics. Yukon Blonde use time-tested tricks of the trade, with a matrix of harmonies that sound like something we have heard before, and pile on the reverb, which has become something of a stalwart for indie bands of our time. I’m sure they borrow heavily from their influences; I’d wager that the boys of Yukon have listened to their fair share of The Beach Boys, and Fleetwood Mac,  as well as the likes of Fleet Foxes and Local Natives. But what’s wrong with that? Who doesn’t want to make music that sounds like music they love.
Yukon Blonde – Brides Song
My personal favourite, if only because it always gets stuck in my head, is “Wind Blows”. The repeating opening phrases catch my attention, and the chorus resonates in me long after the song finishes.

It might not be anything special, but despite it’s blandness, Yukon Blonde’s debut album is good clean fun, and I’d even go so far as to say they’ve taken aim and hit the target. It fits straight into the well worn groove of easy listen indie, and they have made it sound quite beautiful in the process.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Athénaïs permalink
    January 19, 2011 9:29 pm

    I like the little chihuahua in the video 🙂
    And you know maybe they didn’t mean to sound like the Beach Boys or Fleetwood Mac or whatever, maybe they’ve just listened to them soooooo so much that they ended up being full of their music inside and when they started writing and when their music came out, it sounded like those bands! I think everything you write is something that you have already heard mixed with something you have already heard and so on, so on. So basically, the best is to listen to lots and lots of stuff so that your sound is unique.

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