The Sanddollars EP

Anticon ABR052CD
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The Sanddollars EP is the latest offering from WHY?, a folk-pop, indie-hop, sometimes-mustachioed, psych-rock quartet fronted by Yoni Wolf, who for the best part of six years has recorded solo under the same name; he’ll continue, his identity now merged with brother Josiah Wolf (a mean drummer who, like Yoni, plays just about everything), guitarist Matt Meldon, and all-around utility man Doug McDiarmid. Sanddollars breaks in listeners easy for the (sure to be) life-altering full-length Elephant Eyelash.

The EP picks up where Oaklandazulasylum and Early Whitney left off , with Wolf’s darkly whimsical words curling like creeper vines around an ever-widening wall of music. The opening track, “Miss Ohio’s Nameless,” rolls along pastoral and epic while Wolf’s smile-twisted singsong echoes overtop. The frantic ode to youthful vulnerability “500 Fingernails” he sings in a deadpan drawl. The EP moves forward and WHY? digs deeper into their collective chops and overactive imagination. After the first minute, “Sick 2 Think” becomes a gorgeously lilting jam for piano, drums, turntable and bass, while “Next Atlanta” moves slowly under the cover of dusk and “Pantone Cyan” is a study in Technicolor psychedelics.

The clip-and-collage aesthetic of Wolf’s earlier efforts has grown up into full songs , pretty things with choruses and falsettos and layers and suchlike. The title track is the most complete yet (a major-chord-driven piano-fest that devolves into a Pavement-worthy comedown), and an apt teaser for what’s to come on Elephant Eyelash dropping in September.

Why?: The Sanddollars EP

Miss Ohio's Nameless Why? 2'53''
500 Fingernails Why? 2'27''
Sick 2 Think Why? 1'58''
Sanddollars Why? 3'10''
Vice Principal Why? 1'31''
Next Atlanta Why? 1'49''
Pantone Cyan Why? 3'15''
Mutant John Why? 3'26''

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