You & Yourn | It Would Make Things Worse
Most Likely To: enter Sandman.
If only Heather and Nic Dillon had gotten wind of Donnybrook’s offer to auction cooler band names. You see, You and Yourn used to go by the far cooler moniker of Casados. You & Yourn conjure up images of a tube socked 1970s tennis player. No, wait, that’s Bjorn Borg. Y&Y is too similar to Peter John and Bjorn. No, wait, that’s wrong, too. Jeez, they just should have stayed with Casados. Wait a minute, is Pete Yorn in on this one? Anyway, the name change accompanies a self-described significant evolution in their sound.
Whether or not the album makes things better is subject to debate. Makes things slow, yes. Makes things sleepy, yes. The Dillon Alliance (shit, even that’s a better band name, too) travel our fair country playing their brand of folk. Many of their compositions feature Heather backing Nic’s main vocals, the June to his Johnny. There’s not much going on past a few acoustic guitars, piano, some atmospherica (yes, I just made that word up, nobody steal it) and the occasional sound of rain at the beginning of the songs.
“Double Knots” is typical of most of the material on IWMTW. Two voices sing over acoustic guitars, and the occasional sonic wash enters and leaves, to an ending of just a few piano keys. “I Can Wait This Out” is the strongest song on the album; unfortunately, it comes after you’ve had to listen to everything else.
There are elements here that are worrisome. The duo seems to favor off-mic vocals in both the title track and “Great Lakes” that distract from the melody. For other songs, melody isn’t so easy to detect. The pacing for “Guillotine” is a bit off kilter, and you lose lyrical diamonds like, “My tongue is like a 20 gauge with trigger-happy words” as a result. “Soul and Body” features a complicated guitar melody but is not helped by the muddied vocal delivery. The chorus to “Blackwater” is repetitive. “Sensible Conclusions” is awash in distortion. It’s an interesting divergence, but leaves you with the feeling that you are just one digit off from listening to your favorite radio station.
Clearly, this is not everyone’s bag. I wouldn’t advise playing this when taking a long, late night drive, lest you are awakened from sweet slumber by a sudden meeting with the guardrail. (What’s it doing out in the middle of the damn road anyway?) The material is prevailingly slow, sparse, and mellow. This is not a knock, as both members are apt musicians. It would have been nice to hear Heather take a lead vocal or two. The atmospheric elements are well placed and are what sets them apart from other folk practitioners, but in the end it isn’t enough. They’re not re-inventing the wheel here, but after it goes a few spins, songs tend to blur together. And no matter what your name is, that is not a good thing.
Listen to “Double Knots” from You & Yourn: