Indie veterans Yo La Tengo are back with their 15th studio album, There’s A Riot Going On, from Matador Records. There’s a Riot Going On marks Yo La Tengo’s first album of all new material since 2013‘s Fade. In 2015, the band released Stuff Like That There, which included some new material, covers and reworked versions of their own older songs.
“These are dark times, in our heads as much as in the streets. It’s easy to lose contact with the ground. Confusion and anxiety intrude into daily life and cause you to lose your compass. There are times that call for anthems, something to lift you out of your slump and put fire in your feet. And sometimes what is needed is a balm, a sound that will wrap around you and work out the knots in your neck.”
For Yo La Tengo, this is a slow-motion action painting. Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no engineer and no complicated equipment (John McEntire later assisted in mixing). They did not rehearse together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You’d never guess this, since the layers are joined with such a liquid brush.
While there’s a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it’s like to dream.