Coming September 8 : Yo La Tengo’s ‘Popular Songs’

June 4th, 2009 at 8:01 am by Gerard


(cassette by Dario Robleto)

We have an old saying at Matador HQ, “the only thing predictable about Yo La Tengo albums is their high level of excellence and crazy amount of musical ground covered”.  Trouble is, even if you believe we really have an old saying that unwieldly, it doesn’t really do justice in this instance. The new Yo La Tengo CD/2XLP/digital  album ‘Popular Songs” (OLE 856-1,2) could be the bravest musical statement to date in a career full of ’em.   Recorded in Hoboken and Nashville in early 2009 with longtime associate Roger Mountenot, ‘Popular Songs’ finds the trio of Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew at the height of their creative powers, fashioning an epic work that’s cooly confident as it is wildly adventurous.

Even for longtime followers of Yo La Tengo, the stylistic range encompassed on ‘Popular Songs’ is startling ; the band aren’t merely conversant with rock & pop subgenres stretching into the double digits, but their unselfconscious mastery of such is simply uncanny.  Without absolving you of the sacred responsibility of listening to this album from start to finish (with no commercial interruptions!) , we can say with full confidence there are portions of ‘Popular Songs’ where a cursory needle drop reveals a band that doesn’t sound instantly like Yo La Tengo — or at least how you recognized them prior to now.  In the words of Mike Wolf, “Yo La Tengo is not afraid. They walk confidently forward, into the unknown, hand in hand. And 12 (or 14) albums in, they may just be hitting their stride.” 

“Periodically Double Or Triple” is the first MP3 from ‘Popular Songs’.  In the days to follow, we’ll have further announcements regarding a Buy Early Get Now campaign for the album, along with Yo La Tengo’s autumn tour plans.

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18 Responses to “Coming September 8 : Yo La Tengo’s ‘Popular Songs’”

  1. Salman Says:

    Cool song. Like the change of direction midway through.

  2. TP Says:

    CHRIST ALMIGHTY IS THIS GOOD NEWS. When can we expect a tracklisting?

  3. yesterdaydream Says:

    This is awesome! Thanks, pitchfork 🙂

  4. winterversion Says:

    Yeah, sounding nice!

  5. Kyle Says:

    I am very excited for this!

  6. John Kiggins Says:

    So very excited about the BEGN. Soon, please!

  7. zenarcade Says:

    Ah, the sweet mix of guilty pleasures that we come to expect from YLT: swingin’ understated pop syrup with a shot of disquieting abrasive noise. The organ makes me feel like digging out my copy of “Electr-O-Pura”. … can’t … fight it … any longer…

  8. Phil Eames Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, can’t wait for the new album if the rest of the songs are as good as this. Any UK / European tour dates in the pipeline?

  9. Edith Says:

    Ist schön lässig!

  10. eroc Says:

    “In the days to follow, we’ll have further announcements regarding a Buy Early Get Now campaign for the album, along with Yo La Tengo’s autumn tour plans.”

    Hmmmmm…..I was hoping this meant days from the announcement we would know more. Cool to see the cover, but really want a tracklisting! Ummm…just cause! Album comes out on my birthday, which will be a nice.

  11. Gerard Says:

    UK/European dates will be announced shortly. we promise.

  12. Fr. Bunge Says:

    Thank You

  13. tammers Says:

    oh goodness, i can’t wait for this album. please come to the west coast YLT!

  14. X Says:

    Would be great.

  15. IA Says:

    Well, the leaked copy sure sounds good.

  16. colin Says:

    are the upcoming shows going to be electric or acoustic?

  17. Hans Hammers Jr.II Says:

    Fantastic appetizer folks : ) Great to face the gloomyness of fall with a new ylt album as a guiding companion through the darkness and rain which begins to creep in early september up here…

    Good news!
    Looking forward to a european tour!

  18. Gerard Says:

    electric. Which doesn’t preclude an acoustic moment if the band prefer.