Joyful Noise – March 3rd

In late 2014, Yoni Wolf, the mastermind behind the genre spanning project WHY?, released a set of cover songs entitled Snow Jams. One of the songs he covers on Snow Jams is Nico’s ‘Somewhere There’s A Feather’, a line from which goes, ‘Fall and climb. Take your time. Somehow you must live up to the precedents you’ve set’. The line could serve as a description of the fate a project as long standing as WHY? eventually endures: it becomes nearly impossible not to contrast any new output with the old.

Moh Llean is WHY?’s 6th full length LP, and comes four years after their last album, Mumps etc, which delighted and disappointed fans in equal measure. A lot can change in four years and WHY?’s latest effort departs quite dramatically from the sound of Mumps. It paints a much more cinematic picture than their previous effort and sees Yoni Wolf at his most contemplative and defiant.

In ‘Proactive Evolution’, Wolf gracefully detail his struggles against illness and existential dread without succumbing to despair. On the album’s closer Wolf beautifully traces age old philosophical problems ‘what excites the fabric to ignite in the cooling blue decay?’ The arrangements across Moh Llean seem to mirror this spontaneous ignition, as sombre verses burst into warm choruses and vice versa.

‘One thing, there is no other. Only this, there is no other’ Wolf states on ‘This Ole King’, the opener of the album. As well as being a philosophical standpoint, it may also provide a prescription for how best to approach a wonderful new album from a band that has constantly transformed since its inception.

Live: Village Underground on June 13th

Buy: Why? – Moh Lhean