Review: Yawn’s Happy Tears EP

Yawn: Happy TearsYawnHappy Tears (Feel Trip, 7/24/12)


Yawn: “Ganymede”

Chicago indie-psych-pop upstart Yawn gained popularity in just a few short years after a self-produced EP found its way to the ears of some booking agents at SXSW. Though the band only had a handful of live local sets under its belt, its successful showcase in Austin garnered praise and enthusiasm from unsuspecting attendees, eventually leading to attention from Pitchfork and NME. The band finally released its first full-length, Open Season, last summer, and has since toured with Mates of State and The Kooks. (And, of course, it was featured in Chromatic: The Crossroads of Color and Music.)

To show where the band has been, musically, it’s now releasing a new EP, Happy Tears. Part B-side, part single, it doesn’t aim so much to define its sound but rather to chronicle its progress before Yawn begins a new full-length. Rife with all the synth pop, slow grooves, and infectious melodies that first caught our attention, it’s not much of a departure from its previous releases. And in Yawn’s case, that’s a good thing. It’s on the right path toward refining an ambitious sound.

The album’s opener, “Ganymede,” drops jingling bells like audible glitter over dreamy falsettos and bursts of reverberated guitars. “Take it With Me” opens with the sounds of waves crashing, marking the ebb and flow of the song itself. Catchy, nod-along melodies are laced with crashing cymbals before receding into surf-pop guitars and back again. And its closer, “Yabis,” is a psychedelic romp filled with harmonized bleeps, a dive-bombing guitar, and a wordless chorus that’s reminiscent of both Super Mario and Grand Theft Auto. It’s one that showcases the band’s range and promise for a solid sophomore full-length.

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