Published Jun 12, 2018Summertime music often elicits a certain amount of carefreeness and celebration, but some of the season's best songs are heartbroken messages wrapped in a sugar-sweet coating. Sub Pop's latest act Yuno is a master of this deception.
After years of producing tracks in his bedroom strictly for SoundCloud and Bandcamp uploads, he was discovered by Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces, who quickly signed the Jacksonville, FL artist to the label he does occasional A&R for. It's easy to hear what convinced Butler to make the move, as Yuno's Moodie is the aural equivalent of a Long Island iced tea: equal parts sweet (melodies) and sour (lyrics).
All six of Moodie's tracks are intimate confessionals submerged in warm, sun-kissed production. Leadoff tune "Amber," a perfect visualization of the Tough Alliance on vacation in the Caribbean, is perhaps his one true moment of elation before song of the summer candidate "No Going Back" — a breezy kiss-off to an ex — establishes Yuno's descent into sad fuzzies.
The rest of the EP keeps exploring moods while switching up genres, bouncing from the supple R&B vibes of the pleading "Fall in Love" and the crashing guitars and wailing voices of the emo-hop "Why For," to the Balearic pop of "So Slow" and his rapped griping on the hypnagogic "Galapagos."
Like every great EP, Moodie is a succinct collection that flies by without overstaying its welcome. Yuno has demonstrated some remarkable skill in producing strikingly expressive pop music from the comforts of his bedroom. Let's just hope he's still got some of that heartbreak left in him when he goes in to follow it up. (Sub Pop)