Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin creates tantric pop. They are able to identify that climactic moment in a pop song, that fleeting micro-second that saves pop music from the over saturation by the Biebers in the world. Upon identifying it, though, they exploit it. They dissect that one instant into minutes. Stretching it out over repeating riffs and building handclaps they let us experience that perfect moment for longer than we ought to. And it feels pretty good.
Let it Sway is the third release from Springfield, MO pop quartet Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. They recruited heavy-weight Chris Walla (of Death Cab For Cutie) to help with the production and mixing, and though Walla’s influence is definitely noticeable in the album’s aesthetic, the arrangements of the tracks shows a return to the patience that gave Broom, the band’s first release, its rich texture.
I’m always impressed with SSLYBY’s comfort and self-confidence. They seem OK with being a pop group. With any other group, this may equate to an eventual staleness, or at least a plateau, but SSLYBY is able to thrive in the space they’ve created for themselves because their songs are rides. They know that the strength of their songs comes in the arrangements- and while the expertise of a good producer or mixer can help- unless their arrangements are interesting and captivating no amount of Pro Tools is going to help.
In Broom the rides were slow, piping, wooden structures with tedious build ups and slow releases (I’m thinking of, “I am Warm and Powerful“). In Let it Swaythe rides are much more chaotic. There are peaks and valleys- songs will burst into a flury of punchy guitars and fall just as sharply into a quiet breakdown and acoustic guitar. This dynamic is the salvation that pop bands need, and the push pull (Sink/Sway?) that SSLYBY creates is instrumental to this albums success.
Its immediately evident that they’re more comfortable opening things up a bit with their sound as well. “All Hail Dracula!” opens with drone worthy of A Ghost is Born. “In Pairs,” has a menacing pair of its voice as a second vocal track harasses the first in a mocking echo. The seamless transition into, “My Terrible Personality” is masterfully pulled off. Their ability to tweak the periphery of their songs without damaging its core shows a maturity that was unfortunately absent for parts ofPershing.
The best moment in Pershing, though, was the last track, ‘Heers.’ It was a huge step for the band, and again onLet it Sway the closer is truly a beautiful moment. In a simplicity that both inspires and awakens: “Nothing’s made to last these days, But I’m gonna be by you until my last day.” It’s neither blissfully unaware and oversimplified, nor is it annoyingly hyper-literate. It just is.
Lyrically, the album demonstrates a self-confidence. As a band, SSLYBY thinks that their time has come, “I just wanna show you what I know, I know its right.” They don’t want to be the sole providers in this game anymore, “When you gonna shake off those new legs? I need you to be strong.” SSLYBY has given a lot. If there is any word that doesn’t describe the band, it’s, ‘lazy.’ They’ve shown that they care immensely about every moment on their album, and they think that you should too. Can you blame them?