Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

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Yak's world fell apart after the release of their debut Alas Salvation in 2016. Bassist Andy Jones split, leaving guitarist Oli Burslem as the band's clear leader, yet the group stumbled through sessions with producer Jay Watson -- best known as a member of Tame Impala -- winding up with nothing to call finished. Rallying with producer Marta Salogni, who previously worked on records by Goldfrapp and Björk. Salogni helps Yak ease into the psychedelic with Pursuit of Momentary Happiness. Where Alas Salvation teemed with physical pleasures, Pursuit of Momentary Happiness attempts to float on an astral plain, blending mind expansion with soul baring. Not that Yak decided to leave heavy guitars behind. Lead single "Fried" offers a big-footed glam stomp, "White Male Carnivore" is so saturated it bleeds, and "Blinded by the Lies" is a garage rocker that would've fit onto the debut. However, all these ravers are surrounded by an excess of color. "Pursuit of Momentary Happiness" sprawls with the deliberation of a lava lamp, beneath the fuzz of "Pay Off vs. the Struggle" there's a danceable pulse, and the epic closer "This House Has No Living Room" floats with the aplomb of Spiritualized (fitting, since Jason Pierce makes a cameo appearance). Such a broadening of consciousness blends nicely with Yak's gut-level execution, resulting in an uncannily absorbing slice of neo-psychedelia.

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