YVETTE, the NYC-based experimental band spearheaded by Noah Kardos-Fein, have announced a new album called How The Garden Grows, which will come out on September 17 and finally follows up their lauded 2013 debut LP. It’s been a long period of stops and starts for the band, not to mention serious upheaval in their city and on a global stage, all of which plays into the fractured and tense sound they’ve created on the new album. The first taste of it is a song called “B61”, with Kardos-Fein saying:
“At the same time that I was developing techniques to harness the tactile and expressive qualities of my guitar to control a processed synthesizer, I was voraciously consuming the news every day and wrestling with the incomprehensibility of greater existential threats outside any one person’s control – then channelling these themes into lyrics, vocal patterns, and vocal processing. I wanted to marry technical experimentation with vocal and lyrical experimentation, to push the limits and see if I could summon the mood of the moment.”
That quote should appropriately adjust your expectations as you enter “B61”, as the song does not take on anything resembling a traditional structure or sounds – but there is an uncanny resemblance to the horrifying machinations happening all around us all the time. Much like the pernicious forces that inspired the song, “B61” begins softly and gradually sneaks up on you; the first two minutes features little more than metallic tones that dance around the stereo field and a reel of synth that comes bubbling out of the ether, before Kardos-Fein’s forlorn voice emerges, full of fear as he yelps “they don’t say much / but they do say it’s the war to end all others.” Rather than drop the audio bomb right then, YVETTE are restrained, building potential energy through rapidly clattering percussion and gradual surges of synth. When the ‘drop’ does finally come, its like an endless hail of shrapnel, a metallic-sounding downpour of pure fear as Kardos-Fein continues to list the horrific potential of the current world, summing it all up in the final, repeated line: “it’s safe to say I don’t feel safe.” Chilling.
You can watch the visualizer for the radio edit of “B61” below, or find the full version on streaming platforms.