Stranger Things (Yuck album)

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Stranger Things
Cover of Stranger Things by Yuck.png
Studio album by Yuck
Released 26 February 2016
Recorded 2015 (London)
Genre Indie rock,[1] alternative rock[2]
Length 46:10
Language English
Label Mamé Records
Producer Max Bloom
Yuck chronology
Southern Skies
(2014)Southern Skies2014
Stranger Things
(2016)
Singles from Stranger Things
  1. "Hold Me Closer"
    Released: 8 July 2015
  2. "Hearts in Motion"
    Released: 12 January 2016
  3. "Cannonball"
    Released: 2 February 2016

Stranger Things is the third studio album by UK-based indie rock band Yuck, released on Mamé Records on 26 February 2016.[3][4][5] The album was produced by frontman Max Bloom over a period of several months in 2015 in his parents' house in London.[6][7][2] The album's release was preceded by three singles: "Hold Me Closer";[8][9][10] "Hearts in Motion";[4][11] and "Cannonball".[1][12]

Background and recording[edit]

In April 2013, original lead singer and guitarist Daniel Blumberg left the band.[13] Guitarist Max Bloom subsequently took over duties as frontman and the band was joined by guitarist Ed Hayes as an official member that August.[14][15] Yuck released its sophomore studio album Glow & Behold on Fat Possum Records on 30 September 2013 to mixed reviews.[16]

After touring in support of Glow & Behold,[17] the band self-released the Southern Skies EP in April 2014.[18] Yuck signed with indie label Mamé Records in 2015 and released the single "Hold Me Closer" on 8 July via SoundCloud the same year.[8]

On 12 January 2016, Yuck announced the album title as Stranger Things[3] and release date of 26 February.[4][5] The same day, Yuck revealed the album artwork, released the second single, "Hearts in Motion", and announced a North American spring tour.[3] In an accompanying press release, Bloom stated: "[The band] basically spent no money on the record and it was a really relaxed way of doing things[.]"[6] The album was recorded in London primarily in Bloom's parents' house[7] where Yuck had previously recorded its 2011 self-titled debut album.[6] The band recorded the drum tracks at a nearby rehearsal studio.[5] The band posted a video announcing pre-orders for the album on its official YouTube channel three days later.[19]

On 2 February 2016, "Cannonball" was released as the third single from the album.[1][12]

Composition[edit]

‘Hearts In Motion’ is a song about how we deal with relationships. We’re all just blasting through space on a huge rock, so what’s the point in maintaining a relationship? Is it all just doomed to failure, or is it the one thing that we should be holding on to the most in this world? Who knows!

Max Bloom, regarding the lyrical content of the second single[7]

Stranger Things is a departure from the softer, shoegaze-esque sound of the Southern Skies EP.[20] The album was inspired by "UK postpunk"[2] and 90's alternative rock bands such as Dinosaur Jr. and Built to Spill.[6] Max Bloom described the songs "Swirling", "Like a Moth", and "I'm OK" as "remarkably gentle"[21] and referred to the latter as "a very personal song because it's just about the anxiety I've been feeling over the last couple of years[.]"[6] Bassist Mariko Doi performs lead vocals on the song "As I Walk Away", which, according to Bloom, was "quite influenced" by her solo work.[2] Chris DeVille from Stereogum favorably compared "Hearts in Motion" to Transmissions from the Satellite Heart-era Flaming Lips,[22] while Tom Breihan from the same website described "Cannonball" as "a blazing, amped-up blast of fuzz-guitar tunefulness[.]"[12] Writing for the webzine Overblown, Jamie Coughlan referred to the lead single "Hold Me Closer" as "euphoric".[9][11]

Release and promotion[edit]

On 17 February 2016, about a week before the album's official release, Stranger Things became available for streaming via NPR.[23][24] The previous day, Yuck uploaded a live performance of "Hearts in Motion", with James Thomas from Parakeet (Mariko Doi's side-project) temporarily filling in for Jonny Rogoff on drums.[25] The band announced spring tour dates in the United Kingdom in support of the album[24] and uploaded a short promotional comedic video on YouTube of the band member's fathers recommending purchasing the album.[26]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[27]
Consequence of SoundC+[28]
DIY4/5 stars[29]
Exclaim!6/10[30]
Paste8.2/10[31]
Pitchfork5.2/10[32]
PopMatters6/10[33]
Slant1.5/5 stars[34]

Stranger Things has received mixed to positive reviews. On Metacritic, the album has a normalized score of 62 out of 100 based on 21 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[35] El Hunt from DIY gave Stranger Things four out of five stars, writing "Yuck craft their most immediate, and inescapable record to date[.]"[29] Jesse Nee-Vogelman from Slant gave the album a negative review, calling the album "often little more than a poor imitation of [Yuck's] earlier sound."[34] In a mixed review for Exclaim!, Pierre John Felcenloben cited an "overemphasis on influences" that made the record "more recognizably likeable than imaginative."[30]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Yuck.

No.TitleLength
1."Hold Me Closer"3:49
2."Cannonball"2:25
3."Like a Moth"2:52
4."Only Silence"3:52
5."Stranger Things"5:07
6."I'm OK"4:30
7."As I Walk Away"4:17
8."Hearts in Motion"3:22
9."Swirling"5:29
10."Down"4:09
11."Yr Face"6:18
Total length:46:10

[3][36]

Personnel[edit]

Yuck[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kaye, Ben (2 February 2016). "Yuck share new track 'Cannonball' - listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Wiseman, Stewart (22 January 2016). "Interview with Max Bloom from Yuck." Northern Transmissions. Retrieved 6 February 2016
  3. ^ a b c d Minsker, Evan (12 January 2016). "Yuck Announce Stranger Things, Share "Hearts in Motion", Plot Tour". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Kaye, Ben (12 January 2016). "Yuck announce new album, Stranger Things, share lead single "Hearts in Motion" - listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Murray, Robin (13 January 2016). "Yuck Announce New Album 'Stranger Things'". Clash. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Adams, Gregory (12 January 2016). "Yuck Detail 'Stranger Things' LP, Premiere New Single". Exclaim!. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Hunt, El (13 January 2016). "Yuck Announce New Album 'Stranger Things'". DIY. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Hudson, Alex (8 July 2015). "Yuck "Hold Me Closer"". Exclaim!. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Coughlan, Jamie (9 July 2015). "Yuck Share Euphoric New Single "Hold Me Closer"". Overblown Webzine. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  10. ^ Yuck. "Hold Me Closer by Yuck". SoundCloud. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Coughlin, Jamie (12 January 2016). "Yuck Share 'Hearts In Motion', Announce New Album". Overblown Webzine. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c Breihan, Tom (2 February 2016). "Yuck -"Cannonball"". Stereogum. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  13. ^ Battan, Carrie (15 April 2013). "Yuck Frontman Daniel Blumberg Leaves Band". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  14. ^ "Yuck find a new guitarist". YouTube. Yuck. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  15. ^ Hunt, El (7 October 2013). "Yuck: 'There Was Some Weird Shit Going On'". DIY. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Glow & Behold at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  17. ^ Bychawski, Adam (29 August 2013). "Yuck to unveil new member at London gig residency - ticket details". NME. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  18. ^ Cohen, Ian (29 April 2014). "Yuck: Southern Skies EP". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  19. ^ Yuck (15 January 2016). "Yuck Introduces Stranger Things (pre-order now!)". YouTube. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  20. ^ DeVille, Chris (16 April 2014). "Yuck - "Southern Skies" Video & Southern Skies Stream". Stereogum. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  21. ^ a b Oliver, Ben (12 January 2016). "Yuck Announce New Album and US Tour". Listen Hear. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  22. ^ DeVille, Chris (12 January 2016). "Yuck - "Hearts in Motion"". Stereogum. Retrieved 6 February 2016. 
  23. ^ Mosurock, Doug (17 February 2016). "First Listen: Yuck 'Stranger Things'". NPR. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  24. ^ a b Taylor, Sam (18 February 2016). "Yuck share new live video, stream album 'Stranger Things' in full". Upset. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  25. ^ Yuck (16 February 2016). "YUCK - "Hearts In Motion (Official Live)"". YouTube. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  26. ^ Yuck (25 February 2016). "Yuck's Dads Recommend Stranger Things - Yuck Official YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  27. ^ Sendra, Tim. "Stranger Things - Yuck". AllMusic. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  28. ^ Brennan, Collin (22 February 2016). "Yuck - Stranger Things Album Review". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 23 February 2016. 
  29. ^ a b Hunt, El (18 February 2016). "Yuck - Stranger Things album review". DIY. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  30. ^ a b Felcenloben, Pierre John (24 February 2016). "Yuck - Stranger Things". Exclaim!. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  31. ^ Hayden, Mack (1 March 2016). "Yuck: Stranger Things Review". Paste. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  32. ^ Rytlewski, Evan (29 February 2016). "Yuck: Stranger Things Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  33. ^ Korber, Kevin (3 March 2016). "Yuck: Stranger Things". PopMatters. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  34. ^ a b Nee-Vogelman, Jesse (30 January 2016). "Yuck: Stranger Things". Slant. Retrieved 5 February 2016. 
  35. ^ "Reviews for Stranger Things by Yuck - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  36. ^ "Stranger Things by Yuck on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 5 February 2016.