Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

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Pursuit of Momentary Happiness
Pursuit of Momentary Happiness.jpg
Studio album by
Released8 February 2019 (2019-02-08)
StudioRAK Studios[1]
GenreGarage rock,[2] psychedelic rock[3]
Length41:24
LabelThird Man
Virgin EMI
ProducerMarta Salogni,[4] Oli Burslem, J. Spaceman[5]
Yak chronology
Alas Salvation
(2016)
Pursuit of Momentary Happiness
(2019)
Singles from Pursuit of Momentary Happiness
  1. "White Male Carnivore"
    Released: 29 August 2018[6]
  2. "Bellyache"
    Released: 12 October 2018[7]
  3. "Fried"
    Released: 6 December 2018[1]
  4. "This House has No Living Room"
    Released: 25 January 2019[8]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.1/10[10]
Metacritic74/100[9]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[11]
Clash7/10[12]
DIY4/5 stars[13]
Under the Radar3.5/10[14]
The Line of Best Fit8/10[3]
Pitchfork7.6/10[2]
The 4057.5/10[15]
NME4/5 stars[16]
Dork3/5 stars[17]

Pursuit of Momentary Happiness is the second studio album by English band Yak. It was released on 8 February 2019 through Third Man Records and Virgin EMI Records.[4] The album was the band's first with bassist Vinny Davies after previous bassist Andy Jones moved to Australia.[4]

Background[edit]

Following the release of the band's debut album Atlas Salvation, the band found themselves facing multiple obstacles when it came to writing a follow-up. Front man Oli Burslem had originally planned to spend a month song-writing in Japan before meeting bassist Andy Jones who had recently moved to Australia. Burslem was approached by Tame Impala and Pond member Jay Watson to write and record a new record in Perth. However, he found himself spending all the album advance money on alcohol and not writing material, leading him to lose all his money and have to live in his van for a year and a half.[18]

The band recruited bassist Vinny Davies and decided to start working on the album from scratch.[4] Shortly after they would meet Spiritualized frontman Jason Pierce who encouraged the band to pursue creating the album as well as to "get loads of influences."[19] Burslem wrote 29 songs for the album and used the songs that "had a consistent theme" for the album.[20]

In August 2018 the band announced their signing to Virgin EMI alongside a UK tour and the single White Male Carnivore.[21] The album was announced on 6 December 2018, alongside the release of the single "Fried."[22]

Music[edit]

The music of the album has been described as "psych-tinged" and "garage rock-informed."[23][2] Bitter Sweet Symphonies.co.uk described the album as containing traces of later Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Roy Orbison, hardcore punk of the late ’80s, psychedelia of the late ’70s, and Leonard Cohen.[24]

The first track on the album "Bellyache" was written while Burslem was living out of his car. He described the song as being "like the last piece of music we would ever make and that we had to put everything we had into it. That's where the last lyric "if you’re going for broke just make sure you don't choke" comes from."[25] The song was compared to John Lennon at his rawest, "with the singer taunting some greedy fat cats reeling from their own gluttony."[2]

The song "Fried" was described by Burslem as being about "our unsatisfiable desire to indulge in things that aren't good for us. However, once you get a taste for it, it's hard to stop and it's better to fully give way to the temptation."[26]

The first single released from the album was the track "White Male Carnivore." The song was written while Burslem lived in Tokyo. Burslem decided to write a song from his point of view and said that "the three words which made me feel the most uncomfortable were white, male and carnivore. Everything currently seems reductive and polarising."[21] The backing vocals in the track were compared to The Beach Boys.[27]

The final song on the album "This House Has No Living Room" features Jason Pierce who adds vocals and slide guitar to the track as well as John Coxon who plays piano and harmonica. Burslem said that he'd be happy if the song was the last piece of music he ever made.[28]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Yak, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Bellyache"3:42
2."Fried"3:22
3."Pursuit of Momentary Happiness"3:24
4."Words Fail Me"4:15
5."Blinded By the Lies" (Andrew Jones)3:01
6."Interlude"1:09
7."White Male Carnivore"3:24
8."Pay Off vs. The Struggle"4:03
9."Encore"2:17
10."Layin' It on the Line"4:20
11."This House Has No Living Room"8:27
Total length:41:24

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[5]