Yon Yonson are clever guys. Scary clever. There are so many ideas bursting through this album, both musically and thematically, that it’s hard to keep your head steady. The sophomore album for the Sydney duo, which falls under any combo of hyphenated sub-genres you want to string together, is another giant step into the weird rabbit hole they’ve been digging for themselves lately.
Yon’s last album exclaimed, “I never finish songs, I just glue all my demos together,” which sums their scrap-book aesthetic up perfectly, following in the neo-psychedelic vein of Fishing, Animal Collective, and Baths. Rabid syncopations and polyrhythms are bundled up with guitar licks and hip hop samples, a wash of poppy synths and crooning falsettos. Synthetic and Am I A Hero Now are emblematic of their style: well-constructed and tight-knit, with boundless energy.
The nice thing about It’s Natural is it could’ve been an overly cerebral album. Soundbites of Bertrand Russell and sci-fi undertones seep in and out, potentially rendering the record as douchey-stoner material.
Instead, the songs flit between dead-pan observations of a humdrum life, and crippling self-awareness, pouring out in concerns about a girlfriend’s asthma or ballads like Lucid Dreams – “there’s very little evidence that my twenty years or so have been distinguished.” This unmistakable inner-west laziness lightens the tone of It’s Natural, providing some possibly much needed ballast.
It’s Natural is a colourful cornucopia, which is great for an invested listener. It’s like a thrift shop: just take what you want, and leave what you don’t.
BY NIC LINEY