Bobby’s WLFC Weekly Review

 Yohuna – Patientness 

By: Bobby Beebe

Orchid Tapes, a boutique label in Brooklyn run by Warren Hildebrand, has a history for releasing intimate and personal records. The label’s roster consists of artists whose music may have just as easily been lost in the archives of a Macbook, never to be heard by an audience. The latest release in the Orchid Tapes discography, Paitentness by Yohuna definitely feels right at home amongst the label’s roster, but still manages to resist the tropes that so often befall bedroom pop records. The records auteur, Johanne Swanson, has pieced together something that feels deeply personal, but keeps its audience at arm’s-length. This sentiment is most realized in songs like “The Moon Hangs in the Sky Like Nothing Hangs in the Sky” which features a soft and sweet vocal performance from Swanson accompanied by a dreamy synth hook. The dreaminess is augmented by a unique, almost industrial drum machine and some seriously fuzzy distortion. By doing this Swanson, single-handedly pulls the listener close, while still maintaining some privacy. While the production on the album is certainly masterly crafted, it is anything but polished. Songs like “World Series” and “Creep Date” carry some serious DIY punk undertones. This may strike the listener as surprising, especially if they are familiar with the work of the record’s producer, Owen Pallet, a violinist who has worked with Arcade Fire, Grizzly Bear and R.E.M. It is when Swanson’s talent for creating raw, heart-on-your-sleeve rock songs and Pallet’s ear for sweeping orchestral arrangements meet when the record really explodes into contradictory perfection. Most notably, on the slow-building “Badges”, where layered pianos clash with rough drum recordings and fuzzy synths. At its core, Patientess is a warm and reflective record which draws its listener in before alienating them ever-so-slightly. In those moments of alienation Yohuna pushes the boundaries of bedroom pop, specifically in how we qualify “pop” in the era of home recording.

WLFC Top 10

10. De La Soul – Pain

9. The Weekenders – Army of One

8. Twin Peaks – Wanted You

7. Broke Royals – The Thick of It

6. Japanese Breakfast – Everybody Wants to Love You

5. Pixies – Um Chugga Lugga

4. Whitney – No Woman

3. CCR Headcleaner – I’m Alive

2. PWR BTTM – Projection

1. LVL UP – Pain

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