Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin come from Springfield (Missouri), and yes there are 22 towns named Springfield in the USA but the band’s name alone surely qualifies them for a residency at Moe’s Tavern. They’ve been making music since the turn of the century, which puts them near the beginning of the indie pop fashion for simple song-making with sparse instrumentation and alt-folk melodies. 'Tape Club' which follows 2010’s well-received 'Let It Sway' is a kind of taking stock.
The release is 26 songs long and peppered with older material, demos and their fuller sounding new stuff. The band used to release their music on cassette to the subscribers of the SSLYBY tape club, hence, I guess, the title. It’s a lot of material to hold the attention but there’s sufficient variety to keep you listening, and anyway who listens to albums in their entirety these days.
The best moments come from across the range of their musical styles. 'The Clod And The Pebble' and 'Let’s Get Tired' open the album with chiming guitars and plaintive vocals, and then the demo version of 'What’ll We Do' provides a very nice highlight. I really prefer the songs where they break it up a bit – add reeds or keyboards and a touch of energy – so 'Sweet Owl', 'Half-Awake', 'We Can Win Missouri' and 'Cardinal Rules' with its off-kilter guitars are my personal favourites. There’s also another nice demo version of 'Back In The Saddle' tucked way near the end.
In any event, SSLYBY can sound like Pavement, Animal Collective, The Beach Boys or 'White Album'-era Beatles without seeming to break sweat. 'Tape Club' certainly shows the different aspects of what they do, and there’s no impression of filler even as they ring the changes. What I like more than anything else about the album is its sense of intimacy – it has a contagious and relaxed air of confidence. When you've heard it through you feel that you and the band have got to know each other a little better, and what’s more, it’s really been worth the effort.
FREE DOWNLOAD: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Yellow Missing Signs
'Tape Club' is out on Polyvinyl Records and is available to pre-order at Amazon.co.uk. Stream the album in full in the artwork widget above.