How The Garden Grows (Multicolor Explosion Vinyl)

How The Garden Grows (Multicolor Explosion Vinyl)

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For nearly a decade now, Noah Kardos-Fein has been making post-industrial / neo-no wave music under the name Yvette, building a distinct and arresting repertoire along the way. In 2016, Yvette began work on what would become their highly anticipated sophomore album How The Garden Grows. It took three years of stops and starts – multiple studios and different producers and engineers – to write and record. The album, now seeing the light of day in 2021, is the culmination of years of hard work, and countless obstacles. It marks a period of significant growth and change: not just within the band, but also in the musicians' personal lives, the world of New York experimental/DIY music, national politics, and an increasingly globalized world. And it reveals a band carving paths into a new realm of experimentation, in terms of both songwriting and technical approach. 

How The Garden Grows is an intense, kinetic space where animosity is soothed by moments of beauty, and beauty is sharpened into a metallic spearpoint by animosity. "B61" opens the album with two minutes of spacious clattering atop a nauseous hum, the harmony of which becomes clear when Kardos-Fein's voice bubbles to the surface. His delivery starts out glassy and melodic only to boil over into a scream midway through the track, creating one of the most aggressive moments on an already aggressive offering. By the song's end, the mood is complete panic, with Kardos-Fein's guitar-controlled synthesizer evoking distorted alarms, as if to emphasize the apocalyptic imagery of his lyrics. Songs like "Besides" and "For A Moment" march with a similarly anxious momentum of double-timed rhythms and overdriven textures, but here they serve a more discernible pop framework, highlighting Yvette's acute sense of songcraft.

For all of its energy, the album concludes with eight minutes of beat-less atmosphere in the form of "Intermission," a reflective piece of inertia that serves to contrast the utter dismay that precedes it. It's the only track that Kardos-Fein performed by himself, a droning, improvisational piece he recorded when everyone else had left the room. One of the last things you hear, accidentally picked up by the mic as the instrumental drifts into oblivion, is the sound of his bandmate opening and closing the studio door, leaving Kardos-Fein to carry on as Yvette alone. It's a surprisingly prescient sonic farewell for an intensely unconventional album. The droning fades, and the listener is left feeling slightly uneasy, wondering what comes next.

  1. B61
  2. Contact High
  3. Warm Up
  4. Besides
  5. For A Moment
  6. Close Quarters
  7. Smoke In Your Eyes
  8. Best Intentions
  9. Translucent
  10. Intermission

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