Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson

Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson

Written by: DR on 09/05/2010 03:16:41

Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson's debut "Unnoticeable in a Tiny Town, Invisible in the City" created waves. Big waves. That was way back in 2004, though. And despite many sites/magazines deeming "Unnoticeable..." one of the best albums of that year, YPOFH never really capitalised on the buzz around it and them by waiting until now, almost six years later, to release anything new. "Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson? Name rings a bell, but I've smoked too much weed and drank too much beer since then to really remember them." Still, good music finds a way to be heard, patience is a virtue etcetera etcetera.

Platitudes are platitudes for a reason, because good music does find a way to be heard (after all, if nobody hears it how does anyone know if it's good?). I'm hearing it, and it is good. Very good. What's not to like about post-rock that doesn't stretch for crescendo after crescendo? What's not to like about post-rock that tinges their music with indie/emo, as well making astute use of violins? What's not to like about post-rock that uses vocals? I'll tell you. When there's a lack of crescendo, it can be dull and lifeless and boring to listen to. When bands try to cross and fuse genres, particularly that emo-school-indie genre, it can result in a sloppy mess that never binds together either genre cohesively, but instead jumps between contrasting sounds. However, vocals are usually the biggest impediment on post-rock. Many times we've heard vocals that are too over-powering, or too poorly produced, or just not Jónsi-y enough, to work in the grand 'scapes. YPOFH have gracefully sidestepped all of these hinderances, and have turned them into what makes the band work.

There's generally a comfort zone within post-rock, and some of the best acts are caught operating within it. You make the drums roll, one guitar plug along, whilst the other goes all out in search of something that "soars". YPOFH don't conform to this genre-stereotype. They've created an album that contains eight tracks of dreamy, snowy-mountains-of-Norway-inspired soundscapes. The spacious vocals aren't too strong, or so forward that they cloud the music; they only serve to add another layer to the lineament on offer. The production too helps rack up the dainty-score as it has a cutesy feel to it, without sounding "thick" and forceful. It's probably the indie-edge that deserves credit for making the hour spent listening pass by pleasantly. The combination of Explosions in the Sky-esque dynamics and Mineral-esque downiness is pulled off sure-handedly, which makes the listener forget about the lack of loud crescendos, and if anything, makes them count their lucky stars that there aren't any, as they'd seem terribly out of place because YPOFH can coerce your attention with delicate picture-esque compositions instead.

You'll notice a stark lack of any sort of mention in regards to song titles. This isn't because they are all long-ass and therefore a bitch to type out. How would you go about picking out the best moments for reccommendation? It's a bit like going on a walk down by the river on a sunny day, observing all the natural beatuty on display. You'll enjoy it, it'll paint your face with a smile, but if you're asked to point out specifically what you found to be the most pleasing about it, you probably could, but without giving a reason other than... it simply does. "Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson" is such a journey. Is it six years in the making? Not quite. Is there a tremendous amount of variety? No. But it's far from a chore to listen to. And, much like nature, if you willing to allow it, it can really delight you.


Download: To Sit Down Or To Follow, So I Follow; Our Door Handles Stopped Moving Years Ago; Let's Rent Bikes From 1942
For The Fans of: Explosions in the Sky; Laura; Blueneck
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 23.02.2010
How is Annie Records

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