yOya - The Half Turn - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

yOya - The Half Turn

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2018-07-20
yOya - The Half Turn
yOya - The Half Turn

Sometimes everybody goes for an unknown album or a band based on its name or album cover. Possibly, in these days of an overabundance of choices available, that is even truer. Quite often, you would simply skip certain possibilities if the name doesn’t grab you or the album cover simply isn’t appealing enough. Even if all it takes is to press the download or play buttons. After all, there are so many others you can grab, even if they’re unfamiliar to you. Of course, all that applies unless you’ve heard the music beforehand.

So let's consider the three California residing dudes that go under the name of yOya and their sophomore album The Half Turn. I’ve no idea what yOya stands for, the guys don’t say. The cover is nothing out of the ordinary or truly catchy. Frankly, based on either, I wouldn’t have bothered. The media photos - the same. Three smiling guys in nature - your standard Facebook/Instagram stuff you rush through every day. But I had the chance to hear a few tracks beforehand, the opener “The Bloom” and the subdued ballad “When The World Was Young”. So, luckily, I went for the whole thing because you see, it fits exactly in one of personal “I’m a sucker for this stuff” compartments.

That compartment spells - California of the 70s sound with 21st-century updates. Alex Pfender and Noah Dietterich, childhood friends and the composing pair of the group are obviously so immersed in the softer, harmony-driven sound of California and all its spin-offs that they moved from their native Oregon to Los Angeles, where they added drummer Ian Meltzer for this new release.

So what do we get here? For all those that like to open their windows to let in a summer breeze and put on some easy flowing dual harmonies and tight melody compositions combined with quite intricate arrangements, this is it. Songs like “I Don’t Wanna Fight” and “We Used To Shine” fit the bill perfectly. All you need is a cool drink and light reading to go along. “Classic” California sound bands like Orleans or Firefall would be close comparisons.

yOya does add touches of electronics and modern production techniques to the whole sound ("Everyone Lies"). If the so-called FM radio was still in vogue, yOya would possibly be among its champions. Is The Half Turn anything truly original? Not really, but then, that is not always a point. Sometimes coming up with sounds that sound familiar but are truly pleasing is quite good enough. And it should be.

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