15 Songs, 1 Hour 8 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Divided into two parts, the first nine making up the brooding Elephants and the final five more anthemic tunes being Teeth Sinking Into Heart, Yamagata’s second album, four years in the making, is the result of love found and lost, intense introspection, and a prodigious amount of songwriting distilled to its essence. She doesn’t shy from resting in a deep quiet. “Little Life” floats down a tranquil stream for its verses before bursting like daybreak for the chorus, French horn, gong and a string section creating an ominous sense of unease. Nine minutes of “Sunday Afternoon” delivers the overwhelming sense of emotional disorder that accompanies the failure of young love as she declares “I won’t live for you / or die for you / or do anything more for you” amongst the rising strings and strangulated electric guitars. By the time she arrives at the album’s second half for the electrified attack of “Sidedish Friend,” it’s almost a wonder it’s taken her this long to finally lash out musically with all she’s worked through. Yet she returns to her beloved piano and a lonely ballad (“Don’t”) to close things off. Often haunting and eerie and emotionally naked, the album’s a bit like reading a young woman’s diary. Proceed with caution.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Divided into two parts, the first nine making up the brooding Elephants and the final five more anthemic tunes being Teeth Sinking Into Heart, Yamagata’s second album, four years in the making, is the result of love found and lost, intense introspection, and a prodigious amount of songwriting distilled to its essence. She doesn’t shy from resting in a deep quiet. “Little Life” floats down a tranquil stream for its verses before bursting like daybreak for the chorus, French horn, gong and a string section creating an ominous sense of unease. Nine minutes of “Sunday Afternoon” delivers the overwhelming sense of emotional disorder that accompanies the failure of young love as she declares “I won’t live for you / or die for you / or do anything more for you” amongst the rising strings and strangulated electric guitars. By the time she arrives at the album’s second half for the electrified attack of “Sidedish Friend,” it’s almost a wonder it’s taken her this long to finally lash out musically with all she’s worked through. Yet she returns to her beloved piano and a lonely ballad (“Don’t”) to close things off. Often haunting and eerie and emotionally naked, the album’s a bit like reading a young woman’s diary. Proceed with caution.

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