Monday, June 8, 2009


The best thing about Yo La Tengo is their element of surprise.

It's like you go on your morning troll through the music news sites and all of a sudden--bam!--news of a new YLT album just appears out of nowhere.

Hence the release of Popular Songs, due out September 8.

Here's some spiel from the Matador Records blog in regards to the trio's latest, their first since 2006's I'm Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass:
The new Yo La Tengo CD/2XLP/digital album Popular Songs (OLE 856-1,2) could be the bravest musical statement to date in a career full of ‘em. Recorded in Hoboken and Nashville in early 2009 with longtime associate Roger Mountenot, ‘Popular Songs’ finds the trio of Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew at the height of their creative powers, fashioning an epic work that’s cooly confident as it is wildly adventurous.

Even for longtime followers of Yo La Tengo, the stylistic range encompassed on Popular Songs is startling ; the band aren’t merely conversant with rock & pop subgenres stretching into the double digits, but their unselfconscious mastery of such is simply uncanny. Without absolving you of the sacred responsibility of listening to this album from start to finish (with no commercial interruptions!) , we can say with full confidence there are portions of ‘Popular Songs’ where a cursory needle drop reveals a band that doesn’t sound instantly like Yo La Tengo — or at least how you recognized them prior to now. In the words of Mike Wolf, “Yo La Tengo is not afraid. They walk confidently forward, into the unknown, hand in hand. And 12 (or 14) albums in, they may just be hitting their stride.”

The album's first single, "Periodically Triple or Double", which comes off like Turtle Soup-era Turtles covering Booker T. and the MG's "Hip Hug Her" (albeit with a little more oomph), is available for download here.

Look for Yo La Tengo on the road this summer in support of Wilco.

Ira and Georgia covering "Teenager In Love" in Georgia's apartment circa 1988:

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