yllwblly – ‘Land Lover’ album review

yllwblly Land Lover Boston album review

This image is a scanned drawing that was originally created by Daehyun Kim, Moonassi.

Self-taught singer, songwriter and producer yllwblly wrote the album ‘Land Lover’ in the mornings before starting his office job while in the midst of a painful break-up and is now ready to share the 13 songs with the wider world. The Boston-based artist counts Elliott Smith as one of his major influences but we also hear elements of (Sandy) Alex G and Mac DeMarco in his all-encompassing sound.

‘Walking Dead’ opens the genre-hopping record in style as yllwblly talks about the fear in his eyes and pondering how ‘I swore to myself I’d never let you see that side of myself again’. ‘I Hope You’ll Get Yours in the End’ starts with slacker hooks and handclaps and ends in discussions of lavender as yllwblly decides to wish his partner well for the future, wherever they end up: ‘In spite of how we left things, I still wish you all the best’. There’s a powerful honesty running through all of the songs on this record, with ‘Your Heart Darkens” ‘I don’t want to crawl back to you again’ and ‘The Youngest Child”s ‘I speak with the strangest voice as I tell you ‘get out of my face’, ‘get out of here”.

‘Santa Monica’ has a lo-fi bedroom pop sound and real tenderness while ‘Trigger’ falls somewhere between Sparklehorse and M. Ward as yllwblly admits ‘Words will never make me use the weapons but the silence pulls me like a trigger’. ‘American Youth’ is a melodic piece with stop-start moments and ‘Show Romance’ opens in a Wayne Coyne mould before far-reaching guitars are thrown in. There’s a real self-awareness running throughout the album, with ‘Who Am I to Tell You?’ not shying away from yllwblly’s own mistakes.

‘Body in the Sea’ is altogether more introspective with powerful memories being brought to the fore: ‘Talk to me the way you did that winter when I fell for you like jumping from a bridge’. ‘On the Table’, the final song on the record, opens with shoegaze sounds before a waltzy sound takes over along some to-die-for harmonies: ‘I left my heart on the table’. ‘Land Lover’ is a personal and powerful account of looking back over the joys and pains of a relationship but also using these learnings to look ahead to better things…




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