Friday, March 28, 2014
"When We Are Old"- YYU
Right now as I'm typing this, I hate how I feel. Don't worry; I don't have some sort of deathly pallor. It's more of a general unease caught under my skin; an odd quiver if one could be more permanent. The sort of thing where you question if this all mental or mostly physical.
The reason I'm writing about this is because low-key Texas-artist YYU's "When We Are Old" calls to mind similar maladies. Almost immediately, his carefully plucked acoustic guitar is shuddering. Notes shake as though they're carrying an immense weight upon its shoulders. And as painfully intimate and uncertain as they seem, those notes wonderfully match YYU's voice. Rendered in folksy falsetto, it too feels as fragile as glass. His voice here is so wispy; words can disappear as they're delivered. YYU then reminds me of Bon Iver/Volcano Choir lead-singer Justin Vernon. Even when Vernon seemed indecipherable, you could hazard a guess at what he was trying to convey. Each tremble in his voice was mainline into a reservoir of pain. In YYU's case that pain comes from having a front row seat to decay. "I know I am dying I watched myself, I know I am tired I watched myself," he avers. When he pipes in bird chirps or switches to an upbeat tempo replete with handclaps in the track's second half, that pain doesn't vanish. Every strum is still suffuse with that same pain. Unidentifiable, but wholly relatable.
You can listen to "When We Are Old" here and you can purchase the track through RAMP Recordings as a 12"/MP3 single that also features the electronic-leaning "Kiss As We Walk".