Yukon Blonde

Yukon Blonde

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Yukon Blonde Review

by William Ruhlmann

Yukon Blonde from Vancouver, Canada, who used to be Alphababy from Kelowna, Canada, have reincarnated themselves as an engaging indie pop four-piece on their debut full-length album (following a four-song EP, Everything Is Everyway), and equal emphasis should be placed on the words "indie" and "pop." The music is pop/rock in the sense that the guitars of Jeff Innes and Brandon Scott play short, catchy riffs over the tight rhythm section of bassist Adam Newton and drummer Graham Jones, as Innes, Scott, and Jones sing romantic lyrics with light melodies and harmony-filled choruses. But typical of a developing band that is willing to be this musically accessible, Yukon Blonde, through the auspices of a mixer named Dr. Boss and producer Shawn Cole, under-record the vocals and usually mix them lower than the guitars. And as songwriters, they almost always employ song titles that do not reflect the songs' choruses. That may pass for indie cool, but it doesn't really serve the music. One exception is "Wind Blows," in which the chorus, actually featuring the words "wind blows," does get greater emphasis, along with the other lyrics. (There's even an a cappella section.) Yukon Blonde don't really need to worry so much about their rock cred; they have that covered on anthemic songs like "Trivial Fires" and "Brides Song" (which, oddly are sequenced in the middle of the disc, an order that would work well if this were an LP with "Trivial Fires" at the end of Side 1 and "Brides Song" leading off Side 2). They will fulfill their obvious potential best in the future by embracing their inner pop star and turning up the vocal tracks.

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