(2019) Living Theatre

Olden Yolk

... read moreArriving a year after the project's debut, Living Theatre continues to explore the intimate, electronics-tinged psychedelic folk-rock already established by Olden Yolk's Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer, with some subtle shifts in approach. Whereas Olden Yolk was borne out of a series of exchanged...

34′:39″ 10 Songs

1
240 D
Olden Yolk
4:22
2
Blue Paradigm
Olden Yolk
3:58
3
Cotton & Cane
Olden Yolk
3:38
4
Meadowlands
Olden Yolk
2:13
5
Castor & Pollux
Olden Yolk
3:51
6
Violent Days
Olden Yolk
3:46
7
Every Ark
Olden Yolk
3:12
8
Grand Palais
Olden Yolk
4:53
9
Distant Episode
Olden Yolk
2:36
10
Angelino High
Olden Yolk
2:10
Released 17 May 2019, 2019 Trouble In Mind Records, LLC

Review

Arriving a year after the project's debut, Living Theatre continues to explore the intimate, electronics-tinged psychedelic folk-rock already established by Olden Yolk's Shane Butler and Caity Shaffer, with some subtle shifts in approach. Whereas Olden Yolk was borne out of a series of exchanged poems between the songwriters, Living Theatre expanded upon conversations in concentrated writing sessions. Also, Olden Yolk was recorded primarily as a four-piece with their touring band, and while Living Theatre returns to engineer/co-producer Jarvis Taveniere (Woods), its guests include percussionist Booker Stardrum, who features prominently on the album, as well as Frank Maston (flute), Eliza Bagg (violin/viola), and others. It's a more sprawling, cinematic set that at the same time retains a gentle, amber-tinted tone. That more epic impression is helped along by two instrumental tracks and a focus on atmosphere that includes animal calls on "Every Ark" and the drones of the languid "Distant Episode." With alternating lead vocalists throughout the track list, the album sets the stage with a spacy, sustained mechanical hum on "240 D," which eventually adds dissonant, strummed acoustic guitar and lyrics (delivered by Butler) involving the description of a crime scene. With an equally tranquil, detached delivery, Shaffer takes the lead on the more uptempo "Every Ark." It employs muted vintage synth tones, an electric guitar countermelody, and varied percussion including thumping toms and rim clicks. Elsewhere, "Grand Palais" approximates the eerie, infectious folk-rock of the charts in the late '60s, complex ethereal harmonies, jammy guitar solo, shaker, drum fills, and all. While there are a couple other relatively lively passages on the album, the overall effect is decidedly thoughtful and stoned; Living Theatre leaves listeners with the drifting, droning "Distant Episode" and the spare, interlude-like guitar instrumental "Angelino High." ~ Marcy Donelson