Review Summary: Yak reaches for the stars.
It's been a short time coming for Single Soul after only existing for around a year and putting out a plethora of releases which all shared their highlights and slight missteps. It feels like all those releases were stepping stones toward this album.
Delivering his signature emo indie rock-ish sound while incorporating new elements, influences and more solid production. Theses things all lead to by far the most varied, consistent, and best release yet.
Songs that show off some of the new elements to his sound are "constance" and "hands free scotch hugs 3". Both containing a full band of instruments the former shows a hint of what's to come within the album and contains a catchy lead that will try to engrave itself into you're head. While the latter is arguably one of the best songs Single Soul has ever done. As soon as it begins it demands you're attention. With strong rhythm and lead guitar, infectious harmonics and some of the best vocals on the whole album. It leads to a catchy bridge that builds up well before having drums kick in, erupting and concluding strongly with a captivating solo.
Showing some more diverseness the song preceding "hands free", is "Cinema Boy" a beautiful piano driven track accompanied by hair raising female vocals (aka 'Annie' of Depression At Denny's) the two mesh together like peanut butter and jelly. The track carries a rather bleak tone with witty lyrics throughout. In short its about longing for someone and coming to the conclusion that the ideal person they want can only exist in a movie. The concept is executed perfectly, even with it at times having spotty recording in the vocal department it can't stop this song from being a true highlight.
Throughout the album though whether it's the mirrored guitar intro/outro, the scattered samples, the hate it or love it 808s of the atmospheric infused "yr love will punish you", the harmonizing vocals in "dark bedrooms", the bluesy instrumental of "envy", or the haunting appearance of viola in spots, to the albums final moments that feature a rare appearance of screamed vocals. This album goes through a lot of emotions in its roughly 35 minute run time mostly all pretty convincingly and cohesively.
Overall some detractors could question the lo-fi sound, the very unique but raw vocals or just how essential certain parts of this album are, but most should see how all these things tie together to further add to the album's own charm and uniqueness, and quality. Frankly though, Sputnikmusic's own user Yak attempts to craft his own bedroom epic and exceeds more often than not. Its near impossible not to find something to enjoy here and come itching back for repeated listens.
With the creation of "beauty and despair found in otherwise empty places" the future seems to look brighter than ever for this young talented artist. He's just grazing the stars now but expect him to be grabbing and pulling them down for everyone to see sometime soon.