The breezy carefree ambiance of summer requires the perfect soundtrack. Thankfully, Chicago indie-rock trio Yourself And The Air return just in time, radiating atmospheric dream music through the swirling summer airways with their fourth EP, Who’s Who In The Zoo. A collection of mellow instrumental driven tracks, Who’s Who paints a serene backdrop ideal for laidback listening by the poolside. While the relaxed vibe is common thread for the lower West siders, their latest record relies less on bass-heavy dance beats, opting instead for a soothing momentum that mirrors the natural rhythms of the Pacific. Just close your eyes during the gently rolling melodies of “Bon Voyage” and “Bicycles Plus,” and you’ll start to feel yourself drifting off the Earth and melting into the seasonal levity of the warm summertime.
The Chicagoans growing maturity beautifully shines through on Who’s Who. It’s a more complex record, adding psychedelic layers to create a gorgeous textured sound that embodies the group’s true dedication to their music. Ubiquitous guitar build-ups and light fluttering drums effortlessly blend tracks together, creating an epic soundscape reminiscent of Explosions In The Sky. Lead singer Erik Crosby’s MGMT-like vocals induce a sense of playfulness, helping transport listeners to a realm of pure sonic bliss. While the record can seem emotional at its low points like on “Ice Age,” Who’s Who is clearly not advocating embracing lurching notes of nostalgia. Summer is a time of relaxation and escape from the pressures of daily life. Likewise, the whimsical lyrics of Yourself And The Air’s latest album about pedaling through the air and coloring outside of the lines while there is still time convey a simple message of letting go and living in the moment. So let the soundtrack of last year’s romance fade into oblivion as Yourself And The Air clear the stratosphere for a new summer fling.
Yourself And The Air – “Sick Days”
– Lucy White