Yukon Blonde is a band that is refreshingly true to its name: a Canadian hybrid of dreamy indie and peppy, sun-kissed pop. Fresh off a raucously well-received performance at this year’s South by Southwest, these talented Vancouver-ites are set to take the American music world by storm with the release of their newest album, Tiger Talk. While their 2010 self-titled full length was a celebration of ’70s radio rock and modern-day Americana, Tiger Talk recalls the sunshine melodies of the late ’60s–with some ’80s electro-punk guitar solos thrown in for good measure.
Although this four-man band has been making music since 2005 (starting out as Alphababy before switching to the more Canuck-friendly moniker Yukon Blonde), Tiger Talk is primed to be their big mainstream breakthrough. With its toe-tapping beats and sing-along choruses, this record is not only Yukon Blonde’s most infectious work to date, but also their warmest and most accessible.
Tiger Talk packs a wallop of energy and enthusiasm into its brisk 36 minutes. The first track “My Girl” is pure dance-around-your-room pop, with a “Woah-oh-oh” refrain just asking to be sung into a hairbrush. Other highlights include the soaring three-part harmonies on “Stairway” (a hit-worthy single that is already climbing the charts in Canada) and the retro electric guitar riffs of “Radio,” “Breathing Tigers,” and “Oregon Shores.”
All 10 songs share an underlying theme of Paisley Underground-jangle pop, with stylistic nods to The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Big Star. While the second half of the album lags in comparison to its high-octane opening, the combination of less punch and more pomp adds whole new layers of thoughtfulness to the soundscape. Lead vocalist John Innes brings a raw intensity to lyrics such as “You can wish on stars/and crash the fuck out of cars” (on the glittery ballad “Guns”) while still retaining a wink of playful likeability.
With summer rapidly approaching, Tiger Talk is the perfect soundtrack for a sun-drenched road trip or a beachside getaway. Just roll the windows down, turn the stereo up, and bask in the glow of heartfelt nostalgia and unbridled joy.
Yukon Blonde – Tiger Talk tracklist:
- “My Girl”
- “Iron Fist”
- “Oregon Shores”
- “Six Dead Tigers”
- “For LA”
- “Breathing Tigers”
- “Sweet Dee”