Have you ever had one of those amazing afternoon naps? You know, the ones supplying the dream you never want to end? The kind that leave you relaxed and refreshed for the rest of the day? Evenings's newest album, Yore, which releases April 16th, is the soundtrack to that dream. Originally from Palmrya, Virginia, the now Harlem-based producer is the latest member of the Friends of Friends label. His first release on the label delivers a creative blend of ambient electro, hip-hop instrumentals, and psychedelic electronica to gently ease listeners into a state of relaxation.
The album begins with the song, "Jaeune Reflection," a 0:57 second long track that sounds like a psychedelic orchestra warming up before the show. The next track, "Friend [Lover]," begins with a small percussion section like a person messing around on a keyboard, the notes of which jump pitches from lows to highs to give a disorienting effect. This only lasts a short while before the listener is met by a wall of ambient synths, angelic voices, and those same percussive hits, which sound like they now fit perfectly into place. The song, "Lo-velo," an echoey guitar filled track with a slow drum kit beat is sure to make your head nod is one of the Yore's strongest tracks. Smooth and calm, this track is perfect for lying on a beach or going for a drive on a sunny day. It demonstrates Evenings' strong production skills, which are reminiscent of Clam's Casino or like Sigur Ros meets hip-hop.
One of the album's best tracks is also one of its simplest. The song, "Chesapeake," consists of two synth chords switching back and forth with great syncopated drum hits and a click track on top to keep the beat interesting. This track in particular shows how Evenings can do so much with so little. Right after he has shown listeners his minimalist musical aesthetics, Evenings demonstrates his ability to draw listeners into a state of quasi-transcendence and calm with the song, "Lately." Beginning with strong delayed piano chords (each of which last an eight count), a glassy sample that sounds like a track in reverse, and a sonar blip that mimics a water droplet, "Lately" takes almost two minutes to relax listeners before dropping a more up-tempo beat, which makes one feel simultaneously relaxed and energized.
The next track, "Goodbye Forever," begins with what sounds like a banjo, and a loop of water lapping up onto a beach. The floor tom and snare kick in to drive the song and crickets play in the background and give the acoustic space some texture. In a feat that not many producers have done before, Evenings is able to tastefully weave together his folk and acoustic musical influences with his electronic and hip-hop aesthetics. This song is even more impressive; using only sound, Evenings transports listeners to a summer sunset on the side of a lake that listeners probably want to never end. Then the track is suddenly cut off, and only the echo of the last hit is all listeners can hold onto until next summer. "Goodbye Forever" indeed.
The rest of the album is solid as well. The two remix tracks of the album, "Friend [Munno Remix]" and "Babe [Shigeto Remix]," are well produced. Shigeto's is a more dancey minimalistic beat and Munno's is an ambient hip-hop beat. As a whole, Yore is well produced and creative. It combines electronica/psych-rock styles with hip-hop and ambient electronic music to welcome listeners to a dream land. The album is aptly named - the dreaminess and relaxation each track and the whole album provide give listeners the chance to feel a sense of nostalgia, whether it be for the dream you just woke up from, or for the good ol' days of yore.
1. Jaeune Reflection
2. Friend [Lover]
3. Favorite Maze
4. Ager [Mind Reel]
6. Softly We go
10. Goodbye Forever
11. Friend (Munno Remix)
12. Babe (Shigeto Remix)
13. Still Young