Yo gusta La Tengo

Indie rock veterans Yo La Tengo have been churning out noisy guitar rock since 1986. Fade, their 13th album, came like a welcome treat from a pastry chef who’s been baking yummy sweets for years. Like its bright album artwork suggests, Fade is a lush, catchy, and vivid record, perfect for starting out the New Year on a positive musical note.
Fade opens with the irresistible shuffling guitar riff of “Ohm.” Rich with beefy neo-psychedelia, youthfully earnest ensemble vocals, and even a fuzzy guitar solo to wrap everything together, “Ohm” is a fun and energetic celebration, bringing together the spaced-out pop of the sixties with the deadpan guitar rock of the nineties.
“Is That Enough” compliments “Ohm” with cutesy love-struck lyrics, sweet violins, and a pillow of warm fuzz to rest in. It’s the kind of song you could hear on the Juno soundtrack, except a little more rich. “Well You Better” continues the low key, adorably innocent atmosphere of “Is That Enough” until “Paddle Forward” blasts back into the grungy, crashing power chords that were so gloriously exhibited in “Ohm.”
After “Paddle Forward” buzzes out its final guitar splashes, Fade settles into a series of low key, chill-out grooves. “I’ll Be Around” introduces flavors of folk guitar picking, reminiscent of Fleet Foxes or early Bon Iver. “Cornelia and Jane” features percussionist Georgia Hubley on vocals, complimenting the track with a nice feminine touch. The retro “Two Trains” has more Sonic Youth noise rock in it than any other song on the album, mustering up a hint of Yo La Tengo’s 80’s roots. The record closes with the echoing, melodic “Before We Run,” accompanied by a psychedelic atmosphere built off of deceivingly mixed horns, singing violins, and pummeling kettle drums.
Yo La Tengo has always been a great band, and Fade is just one more great album in their catalogue. Fuzzy guitars, melty horn ensembles, candy-sweet violins, and youthful, heartwarming vocals all come together to form a thick smokey, psychedelic grunge album that even the most skeptical listeners will not be able to resist. I just hope Yo La Tengo will still be baking up their unique twist on indie rock for years to come.