10 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bay Area dreamers WHY? have carved out an unusual niche over the past 15 years, marrying the verbal architecture of alternative rap with the introspection of indie rock. Playful but bittersweet, Moh Lhean picks up where 2012’s Mumps, Etc. left off, setting frontman Yoni Wolf’s meditations against music-box R&B (“Proactive Evolution”) and light, psychedelic folk (“The Barely Blur”). Nearly 40, Wolf is decidedly adult but retains the bruised optimism of a kid, like Peter Pan shouldering his way through real life.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bay Area dreamers WHY? have carved out an unusual niche over the past 15 years, marrying the verbal architecture of alternative rap with the introspection of indie rock. Playful but bittersweet, Moh Lhean picks up where 2012’s Mumps, Etc. left off, setting frontman Yoni Wolf’s meditations against music-box R&B (“Proactive Evolution”) and light, psychedelic folk (“The Barely Blur”). Nearly 40, Wolf is decidedly adult but retains the bruised optimism of a kid, like Peter Pan shouldering his way through real life.

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4:38
4:37
3:09
0:40
4:38
1:09
3:09
3:22
3:21
4:57

About WHY?

A scrappy, genre-blending project fronted by chronic collaborator, podcast host, and wordsmith Yoni Wolf, Why? is an indie rock outfit founded in the Bay Area of California. The act signed with the revered Anticon label for its debut, a partnership that developed out of Wolf's college friendship with Anticon artist Doseone. While Why? does incorporate rap and spoken lyrics into its music, it became one of the more indie rock-styled acts on the usually hip-hop-leaning label. An enigmatic Split EP with Odd Nosdam was Why?'s first release for the label in 2002, followed a year later by the full-length Oaklandazulasylum. Both the Sanddollars EP and the Elephant Eyelash LP were issued in 2005. The following year saw the Rubber Traits EP, and in 2008 the Alopecia album hit shelves and became their first to hit the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart. Featuring Mark Erickson along with Fog's Andrew Broder, Eskimo Snow arrived in 2009 and also landed on the independent albums chart. The title for their next effort, 2012's Mumps, Etc., was inspired by contracting the disease while in Europe, along with other "on tour" calamities. In 2013, the conceptual Golden Tickets EP materialized, a seven-song collection of personalized tracks crafted by Wolf for seven individual Why? fans he'd Internet-stalked over the course of several months. For its sixth studio album, Why? moved to Joyful Noise, which had released the 2016 debut of Wolf's duo with rapper Serengeti, Yoni & Geti. Co-produced by Wolf and his brother Josiah Wolf, a frequent music collaborator, Moh Lhean was released in 2017. It was the first fully home-recorded Why? LP since the project's debut. ~ Marcy Donelson & David Jeffries

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