SOUNDS LIKE: No one but Yo La Tengo, but ok there's a pretty motorik Can-esque beat in there
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The legendary Hoboken trio drops a new single ahead of their next full-length
At this point in their career, no one can come close to emulating the sounds of Yo La Tengo. Since 1985, when they started out playing Kinks meets Feelies guitar pop, to 1995 when they would begin to put out the records that defined indie rock, to 2005 by which point they had cemented themselves as possibly the elder statesmen of their genre, no artist has touched them. They have done nothing but pay their respects and do their best to be as good, never better, than Yo La Tengo.
It's been three years since Popular Songs, and the band spent the summer recording in Chicago with Tortoise's John McEntire. The finished product is due in January, but we get our first taste this week in the form of the single "Stupid Things". It still is built on your standard Tengo foundation: Ira Kaplan's beauitful guitar improvisations delicately play out as James McNew brings in a fuzzy bass line and Georgia Hubley follows right behind with a krautrock beat to carry the tune. Kaplan's vocals, his smooth warbled by effects coo, eventually makes up its mind to take a back seat to the musicianship these three have down pact. Eventually there's a brief appearance by a set of strings that sound as much real as they do synthesized, quickly leaving to let Kaplan do what he's always done best: just play the first thing that comes to his mind. That first thing is always the best thing, and at this point in his career, he doesn't have to think about it.
Most exciting is that once you get used to this version through the rest of the year, the album version promises a completely different vocal. Add that to the fact that they're working with a different producer for the first time since Electro-Pur-a, and you have the most anticipated Yo La Tengo album yet.
Yo La Tengo - "Stupid Things"