Includes bonus 3-song digital EP.
After enduring numerous tension-filled sessions while self-recording 2008's Pershing, the band members decided it would be best to relinquish control over production and pursue new options when it came time to record their next album.
Not knowing which producer to contact, they began their search by reaching out to Death Cab for Cutie guitarist and respected engineer Chris Walla -- a fan and friend of SSLYBY since the release of 2005's Broom -- to see if he had any recommendations.
Unexpectedly, Walla quickly replied he had the perfect person in mind -- himself.
And so, at his suggestion, SSLYBY made the trek from their hometown of Springfield, MO to Madison, WI -- home of the famed Smart Studios (Nirvana's Nevermind, Smashing Pumpkins’ Gish).
Working with Walla (Tegan and Sara, The Decemberists) and resident producer Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie, Sparklehorse), the band members crafted the final list of 12 songs that appear on Let It Sway.
Let It Sway takes cues from the band’s quiet Broom-era bedroom recordings and couples them with the polished sound of Pershing to create a whole new aesthetic most evident on songs like album opener “Back in the Saddle” and the slow burner “Stuart Gets Lost Dans Le Metro.”
'Back in the Saddle' backs up the mission-statement intent of its title, a sturdy foundation of anthemic guitars both folky and power chord-driven, support a carousel of alternate-reality radio melodies. The song actually demands to be heard, as does the the effortless 'Sink/Let It Sway' and the infectious, huge "na na na" chorus on 'Banned (By the Man)'.
Sway, which was recorded by Beau Sorenson and Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, is a noticeable sonic upgrade from SSLYBY's previous two albums.... the progression suits the quartet rather fine: Just listen to the rollicking, twangy 'Crtical Drain,' the Pinkerton-reminiscent throwaway 'All Hail Dracula' and the synth driven '80s power-pop highlight 'Animal kind'
'Sink/Let It Sway' follows with a surf-infused catchiness that masks lyrical gravity, with vocalist Philip Dickey proclaiming “the whole world’s gonna sink” in tones that suggest something of Figure 8-era Elliott Smith.
DROWNED IN SOUND
It's more than a return to form for SSLYBY – it's potentially their finest hour
It’s been roughly two decades since the debut of Superchunk, Built to Spill, et al., but Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin nimbly carries their post-punk torch on their hook-laden third studio LP.
Too bad this album didn't come out earlier; It would have been the perfect soundtrack to summer. Play when in denial about falls arrival.
Let It Sway feels refreshingly rebellious. And, likely thanks to production by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, it's tighter and richer than the band's prior efforts
Simply put, Let It Sway is the strongest music Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin has ever recorded. The band's indie pop sensibilities soar through the album's twelve songs and never skip a beat. While Broom was a charming record in its own right, the sophomore effort Pershing was lovable but strained when it came to writing catchy music. Yet, on their third outing Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin make great hooks look astonishingly effortless.
Let It Sway proves that SSLYBY are still a power-pop force to be reckoned with, and that they're nicely outgrowing the offhand irony of their name.