This week, The Bay Bridged podcast spotlights WHY?, whose new album Eskimo Snow is out now on Anticon Records. The album is WHY?'s third full length as a band, and it comes bearing the high expectations that follow 2005's Elephant Eyelash and 2008's Alopecia, releases that meshed catchy folk-rock with the rhythms and pastiche-friendly aesthetic of hip hop.
Eskimo Snow was actually recorded at the same time as Alopecia, but it became quickly apparent to the band that certain songs would only fit on one album or the other. While the new work carries many of the WHY? hallmarks, layered melodic rock and dense lyrical content, some differences -- or, perhaps, distinctions -- quickly become apparent. For one, Eskimo Snow is an incredibly introspective and somber work, and bandleader Yoni Wolf has noted that it's the least hip hop-connected of any of the band's releases.
Eskimo Snow is the latest chapter in Yoni's lengthy music career, in which he has also held the roles of co-founder of the Anticon collective, one-third of cLOUDDEAD and the solo artist responsible for the acclaimed album Oaklandazulasylum. If WHY?'s latest work is its least hip hop, it's still marked by the sense of fearless experimentation shown throughout Yoni's career. At the same time, it is WHY?'s most unified release, and a compelling work in its own right.
We were pleased to sit down with Yoni Wolf to discuss the new album, WHY?'s origins and the history of Anticon.
Saturday, October 17th
Great American Music Hall
with Mount Eerie, AU, Serengeti and Polyphonic
9pm, $16, All Ages