DO YOU LOVE SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN AS MUCH AS WE (OBVIOUSLY) DO?
Then check out our new contest!
Modern Mystery is giving away a VINYL TEST PRESSING copy of Let It Sway courtesy of the nice people at Polyvinyl Records. The contest starts NOW!
To enter the contest, please send your name and e-mail address to us with a paragraph (that’s like 4 sentences kids) stating why you love SSLYBY so much. This shouldn’t be that hard, right?
The contest ends Tuesday, September 7th at Midnight. The winner will be notified by e-mail.
Send all entries to us at ModernMysteryBlog@Yahoo.com
Please put in the header “SSLYBY CONTEST”
You MUST live in the United States to enter.
For years the band has been known for their sugary pop tunes and songs that you “just can’t get out of your head,” but this time they have taken it to a whole new level. Working with Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, and Sparklehorse’s Beau Sorenson, this is the first release that they did not record and produce themselves.
Notably a big step for the band, some wondered what if Walla changed too many qualities that we love about SSLYBY? Luckily, it worked in everyone’s favor as their music was enhanced not changed which is something very important when you have a formula that already works.
The opener “Back in the Saddle,” already proves the new found maturity of the band in the record. Starting off with a soft piano accompanied by Phil Dickey’s voice, the song starts to switch it up around the 2:40 mark with a pouncing beat, John Robert Cardwell’s vocals, and perfect, and I mean perfect harmonies. From the second the album starts there is not a dull moment which is very important. “Sink/Let it Sway,” the first single, draws you in even more with it’s pop hooks. A fun song that will have you up and dancing around the room in no time. “Banned (By the Man),” is where even more vocal magic comes in. The harmonies throughout every song is outstanding. The songs are well crafted from start to finish with no details being left out. Every instrument shines for itself, being emphasized at every point possible creating an epic barrier of sound.
“In Pairs,” makes me want to dance. There is something about it. The Dickey/Cardwell penned tune was also written by Grace Bentley, Phil’s wife (Congrats Newlyweds!). Though the vocal lines in the song are short, it works and it works well. “My Terrible Personality,” is another track that will have your ass out of the seat dancing. I can’t even properly review it because it just makes me want to have fun. This is something the Yeltsins are good at, very, very good at.
One of my personal favorite tracks from the record, “Everlyn,” sounds a bit heartbreaking, and oozes pure beauty. Clearly a song about lost love, it seems like it comes from a personal place that Cardwell knows all too well. I cannot get enough of this song and with first listen you will know exactly why. It’s beautiful in every way. “Oh Everyln, won’t you let me in?” croons Cardwell, invoking a great deal of emotion. Kudos to Will Knauer and Jonathan James for always being spot on with their playing.
“Stuart Gets Lost Dans Le Metro,” is the only song on the album that takes the band back in time a bit, proving they are still the Yeltsins that we fell in love with at the beginning. “All Hail Dracula!” which has been a fan favorite since the boys started playing it live at their shows in 2009, brings the record back up with a burst of energy once again. A witty song about vampires, this one will have you putting it on repeat.
Cardwell takes over the mic again after two Dickey songs for “Critical Drain,” and the harmonies are back in full force that will stop you in your tracks. The album gets a little darker with “Animalkind,” and borders on making you want to shake your ass and just sit and take it all in. It’s your choice. Make it a good one.
“Phantomwise,” is the epitome of how SSLYBY has grown on this record. It’s where everything fully pulls together. All of the elements of the album brought into one song. You can tell that the band has consciously made a decision to grow, but it doesn’t seem forced at all. It is the most natural progression you could ever expect. Closing for good with “Made to Last,” Let It Sway goes out with a BANG. A little on the haunting side, it makes for the perfect ending song, and if I had it my way, the album would just go on forever. It makes me hungry for more SSLYBY.
If you order the record from the band’s label, Polyvinyl Records, you get three bonus songs, “Bended,” “Cardinal Rules,” (The song about their hometown minor league baseball team), and “Tanks Jam.” Well worth ordering the disc or vinyl online.
Congratulations Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. You’ve made your best record yet. And we love it to pieces.
The band heads out on an extensive tour that starts this Thursday in Columbia, MO. Take a look at where they’ll be below.
SSLYBY Tour Dates
08/26/10 – Thu
Forrest Rose Park
08/28/10 – Sat
The Outland Ballroom
08/31/10 – Tue
St. Louis, MO
09/01/10 – Wed
09/02/10 – Thu
09/03/10 – Fri
09/04/10 – Sat
El Mocambo Club
09/06/10 – Mon
Montreal, QC, Canada
Casa del Popolo
09/07/10 – Tue
TT the Bear’s Place
09/08/10 – Wed
New York, NY
09/10/10 – Fri
09/11/10 – Sat
9/12/10 – Sun
09/13/10 – Mon
09/30/10 – Thu
10/01/10 – Fri
SC Teatar & TD
10/02/10 – Sat
10/03/10 – Sun
10/04/10 – Mon
10/05/10 – Tue
10/06/10 – Wed
Lausanne , Switzerland
10/07/10 – Thu
10/10/10 – Sun
Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
10/11/10 – Mon
London, United Kingdom
Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen
10/12/10 – Tue
Democrazy @ Charlatan
10/13/10 – Wed
10/14/10 – Thu
10/16/10 – Sat
10/17/10 – Sun
10/18/10 – Mon
10/20/10 – Wed
10/21/10 – Thu
10/22/10 – Fri
Bang Bang Club
10/23/10 – Sat
10/28/10 – Thu
11/01/10 – Mon
11/03/10 – Wed
7th Street Entry
11/04/10 – Thu
11/05/10 – Fri
Jackpot Saloon and Music Hall
11/06/10 – Sat
11/07/10 – Sun
Salt Lake City, UT
11/10/10 – Wed
Flying M Coffee
11/11/10 – Thu
11/12/10 – Fri
11/13/10 – Sat
Doug Fir Lounge
11/15/10 – Mon
San Francisco, CA
Bottom of the Hill
11/16/10 – Tue
Los Angeles, CA
11/18/10 – Thu
Santa Barbara, CA
11/19/10 – Fri
La Jolla, CA
The Loft (UC San Diego)
11/20/10 – Sat
11/22/10 – Mon
11/23/10 – Tue
House of Blues – Pontiac Garage
11/24/10 – Wed
There are 56 days until the new album by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin titled Let It Sway (Polyvinyl) hits stores. Yes I am so excited that I actually just counted the days until I get the record in my hands. That’s August 17th if you need some help there.
The band has just announced some great news that they will be doing a headlining tour with openers Telekinisis, starting the end of August. I have a feeling this is only the start of the tour dates. This may be the album that makes SSLYBY huge, especially with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla behind it. This is the first release that they didn’t produce themselves.
SSLYBY has also put out a mini documentry for the album which has drummer/singer/guitarist Phil Dickey narrating. It shows the band in their daily crazy life and making the record in the studio(s). It really gives an insight, and a little listen, to Let It Sway.
Give it a view below, and be sure to notice the red plaid scarf that bass player Will Knauer is wearing. It makes an appearance three times. I gave him that for Christmas. Am I famous now??
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin Tour Dates08/31 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird *
09/01 – Urbana, IL @ Canopy Club *
09/02 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
09/03 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick *
09/04 – Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo *
09/06 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo *
09/07 – Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bears *
09/08 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
09/10 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat *
09/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbary *
09/12 – Cleveland, OH @ The Grog Shop *
09/13 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement *
* = w/ Telekinisis
Missouri’s finest indie band (and our favorite!!), Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, are gearing up to release their third album on Polyvinyl Records. Yesterday morning the band posted a teaser Youtube video that gives you a little taste of the upcoming, yet untitled record. Due out in August, the guys have branched out this time by having Death Cab for Cutie guitarist, Chris Walla along with Beau Sorenson, record and produce the album. Taking place over the past few months, SSLYBY worked on the piece at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin. The teaser shows footage from the studio and the album process in general. Watch out at around 40 seconds for Phil Dickey’s crazy air drum solo.
Check back shortly for more news on Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltin’s new album, as well as tour dates!
SSLYBY Album Teaser
Recently we met up with indie darlings, Army Navy. You may know them for their catchy songs, their tracks in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and their stellar cover of “Right Back Where We Started From.” The band’s second full length will be out this year and they show no sign of slowing down. This is surely an interview to read. Ben Gibbard geekery included. We talked to singer/guitarist Justin Kennedy and guitarist Louie Schultz about the history and future of Army Navy.
Modern Mystery: Where is your favorite place to play?
Justin Kennedy: We actually have better shows in New York. People are more excited about music here, or maybe people know about us more here for some reason. I honestly have no idea why, but we always have great shows here. We always have a great time.
How did you get involved with the Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist soundtrack?
Kennedy: The music supervisor who got the CD turned it into the editor who was putting together an early edit of the movie and was throwing in music. She was giving him stuff she thought was cool and it stuck, and kept sticking. Edit after edit the songs kept staying in and they got really attached to the song. We got two songs in the movie. The supervisor called us and said we’re the only band that has two songs in the movie, and they one of them was going to stay because they were getting down to the wire. They wanted to get rid of the second one because they wanted to feature as many bands as possible and they tried and tried to replace it, but there was so many viewings of the edit, they were totally attached to it and couldn’t get rid of it. Which was great for us. They wanted one of the songs for the soundtrack which was exclusive to the album. It was great for us because there was way more money going into the press than we could ever put into it. We gave them that song as an exclusive. We went to the premiere and us and The Submarines were the only bands representing. The director who we ended up chatting with and was super awesome…His manager was one of the producer’s husband of the movie and it was his Birthday the nigh of the premiere. They wanted us to sing Happy Birthday. I didn’t know they realized they wanted us to sing it to 300 people. We’re trashed. They took us backstage and announced us. It was the most uncomfortable and hilarious moment. Then the DJ tried to put a beat to “Silvery Sleds!”
How did everyone in the band meet?
Kennedy: I met Ben through a friend who had some early demos that I had. He was a musician looking to play something, and he was played with our old drummer Josh in another band. Josh was playing like avant garde Brazilian music. He was into it. We had a couple of other members including an ex-girlfriend of mine which was a bad idea who was playing keyboards at first. Then we had another girl playing keyboards and that didn’t work out. So we were like we need a guitarist who plays keyboard:
Louie Schultz: I played in another band with Josh briefly and the band broke up largely because the singer was heavy into crystal meth and tried to steal some of the band member’s equipment. I hadn’t talked to Josh in a while after that and I was going through my phone and was about to delete him. Then I figured I’d call him one more time before I delete his number. He picked up. It was a really awkward conversation. Before I hung up he said “Wait wait! Don’t you play keyboards too?” So he said come to the show, and I came and saw Army Navy, which was the Fever Zone at the time.
When did the name change?
Kennedy: It was after that. After Louie joined the band. Then Josh quit the band because he became a famous screenwriter. Pete Thomas played on the record who was from Elvis Costello and the Attractions. Through Josh then we found Doug, and he was amazing. We knew. He could do his own thing and sing. He responded to our Craigslist ad at the exact same time.
Does everyone bring in their own songs to a recording session or is it a collaboration?
Kennedy: I write the songs but everyone collaborates on everything that happens. When I first started making the band which I didn’t even know was going to be a band, I would just make up everything on fake drums and keyboards. Once everything solidified and everyone knew what to do and was confident about what the band was, I just came up with ideas and acoustics, and made Garage Band recordings of acoustics of that song and send it to those guys and we’ll just go into practice and jam on it and everyone will come up with their own ideas.
Are you releasing the new record on your own label?
Kennedy: We don’t know. To be announced!
What is the new album going to sound like?
Kennedy: Is Ska popular now? Because it’s going to be in the next year. It’s coming back. Swing dancing is making a resurgence! It’s adjacent but it’s definitely a new batch. It feels like a whole new thing to me. It’s a new wave of what’s going on. It’s totally going to make sense. All of my songs make sense together but there’s definitely too and we’re going to be really focused on getting it done. It’s going to be bigger and better and really strong.
Do you prefer being in the studio or being on tour?
Kennedy: I think studio probably. You can’t have one without the other. One feeds the other. The songs we worked on during the first record became what they did in the studio then playing them out so much. The band that we’ve become after releasing the first record has a lot to do with touring.
You used to be in a band with Ben Gibbard, is that right?
Kennedy: I knew him from high school. He’s one year younger than me and moved to my high school from somewhere in the east coast. His dad was in the military. We met because he either had a Spinal Tap tee shirt on or a Lemonheads tee shirt on. The Lemonheads tee shirt he wore all the time was a handmade tee shirt and it was so stupid. It was like the Lemonheads candy, he printed it out and made a tee shirt of it. I was like “Are you a fan of the candy or the band?” He made his own in art class. He was like “I’m a fan of the band,” and then we were best friends.
Do you still keep in contact?
Kennedy: Yea. He had a band before we started in high school called, it was the name of an R.E.M. song “Oddfellows Local.” I played one song with them during lunchtime and then we started our band towards the end of high school.
At what point in your life did you know you wanted to become a musician?
Kennedy: I kind of tried to kind of give it up for a while actually. I guess I’d write songs and stuff but I wasn’t enthused to be in a band. I wanted to play in bands and not do my own thing. I played with Ana from That Dog and her first solo record. Played with her, toured and recording a little bit. It got me excited and I thought I have these songs maybe I should do something with it. It got me focused like I really need to do this. Even if it was just me in my bedroom with my M-Box and my computer, I was just drawn to it and it feels right. We’re happy with the things we have done on our own. Putting this record out, selling records, touring, the movie, videos, kind of doing it our own way feels great. It makes us want to keep on doing it.
Where do you see the band 10 years from now?
Kennedy: It’s hard to say. We’re happy doing it now I’m sure songs keep coming, we’ll be inspired. I’d love to do it as long as we can. Hopefully not a reunion tour or covers night!