If By Yes: Salt On Sea Glass

If By Yes
Salt On Sea Glass
(Chimera Music)

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If you were a fan of college rock in the 90’s, then the names Petra Haden and Yuka Honda should be familiar to you from their roles in bands like That Dog and Cibo Matto respectively.  The duo recently joined together along with Hirotaka Shimizu and Yuko Araki of Cornelius in a new band entitled If By Yes, and released their first album Salt On Sea Glass, which offers a very comfortable, ethereal tone with moments of experimentation and jamming. 

The strongest tracks on the album features guests such as Keigo “Cornelius” Oyamada, who remixed the intro track, “You Feel Right,” and David Byrne, who co-wrote and sings on “Eliza.”  This early one-two punch sets a great tone with an interesting and melodic blend of pop rock, lounge, electronic, and world music.  However, as the album continues, the sound develops in a more moody, almost psychedelic direction. 

Songs such as “Three As Four,” “Imagino,” and “Adrift” have a ghostly feel mixed with elements of classic rock such as sound effects and backwards looping of The Beatles and guitar and saxophone solos that feel at home with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.  But because of the smooth vocals and melodic nature of the music, it comes off like a very spacey unthreatening pillow-puppy jam. 

The album is an interesting musical experiment with a few really good songs and the band does pull it back together with a secret bonus track that adds some backbone to a cool guitar, bass lick and up-tempo drum beat that works well.

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About Tim Needles

Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website: www.timneedles.com
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