It’s not a wonder If By Yes got David Byrne to record with them. The band crosses torch songs with late-1980s experimental oddrock and fusion jazz. But it’s also, clearly, the sum of its parts. Songwriter and NYC-underground stalwart Petra Haden, one of my favorite singers alive today, teamed up with Yuka Honda, a cofounder of rhythmic alt-rock band Cibo Matto, over five years ago and began writing the songs that would eventually come together as their debut album, “Salt on Sea Glass.”
I know I tend towards the hyperbolic in my reviews–I just love music that much–but this truly is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year. It keeps you guessing, with no two songs sounding the same, but at the same time the transitions feel natural. Joined by guitarist Hirotaka “Shimmy” Shimizu and drummer Yuko Araki, both from the Japanese band Cornelius, you can hear every one of the nine years they spent crafting this album in each and every tune. The music is carefully crafted, beautiful, moving . . . Transcendent. See, now there’s a word I don’t use often. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever used it in a review. That’s how great this album is. It inspired me to dig deep into my vocab-bag.
Get the whole thing for just ten bucks–trust me, it’s well worth your money, and it’s like nothing you’ve heard before.
Oh, and their video? Supercool: