Like every other Monday lately, today has been a day and I honestly just need something to kind of chill out to and lose myself in tonight. I don’t know if Crystal Canyon’s ‘Yours With Affection and Sorrow’ will be that album but, just looking at the album cover, I feel a little bit calmer. Brighter colors but fairly simplistic, something about this LP is just screaming “Listen to me!” So, here we are.
This eight-song album kicks off with Pollyanna and I have instantly been whisked away just the way I wanted to be. The soundscape that kicks this track off is beautiful, stunning, and dazzling. It’s symphonic in a way and very relaxing while still be full of energy. Any stress or bad feelings I had been holding onto tonight instantly melted away as the beautiful and airy vocals came in. I was completely at peace throughout this track and, even though it’s over five minutes long, I was a bit shocked as it came to an end and “Luminous” started playing.
That shock didn’t come just because I realized I had completely zoned out for about five minutes, but also because of the power that “Luminous” starts off with. instead of being bright and airy, this song starts off a bit intense and sludgy. I love it and love the contrast it brings to this album even though we are just two songs in. As the sludge and mud start to clear up, the vocals come back in with their undeniable beauty. I love how the vocals seem to reign in the instrumentation. Even though things get sludgy and a bit louder throughout this track, the vocals keep this track feeling calm. All of this contrast in just one track made this a favorite of mine.
“Boomerang” starts off with a very normal feeling indie-rock guitar before the band comes in and gives you a dancey little number that is super sweet like “Pollyanna”. At under three minutes long, this is the shortest track on the album and also the most mainstream feeling, If this band was going to have a song that hit the radio and pulled people into their amazing soundscapes, it would be this one. I wish it were longer but, before I knew it, “Tender Waves” was taking over my house. The beat slows way back down for this track and it acts a bit as a send-off to side A of this album. There’s an element of pain in the vocals and the guitar playing in this track that left me absolutely stunned and in love. I just sat in silence as the track faded out before I could muster the energy to get up and flip the record.
Side B kicks off with a sense of swagger that comes with “Every Little Star”. This track is the perfect blend between “Luminous” and “Boomerang”. It has mass appeal but has a little sludginess to it at the same time. At nearly eight minutes long and with all of the feelings this track goes through, it’s not a stretch to call this a saga. Although this whole album is a beautiful journey, this song is a journey in itself, and, like during “Pollyanna”, I found myself completely captivated by it.
“Turn Blue” brings back that more radio-friendly vibe of “Boomerang”. Even though I could hear this track on the local “hipster radio station” easily, there are so many unique things going on in the instrumentation throughout this track. There’s a fuzzy element while the song doesn’t sound dark or muddled. The guitars come through clean but there’s still this almost ambient noise behind it all. It’s really quite fascinating how Crystal Canyon is able to have this element without any single part getting lost in the mix. The fuzziness I’m referring to seems to come to the spotlight for “Crush You”. “Crush You” is a super dynamic and dizzying track that will keep you on the edge of the seat. It’s as if I didn’t quite know where this track is going to go but, by now, I absolutely trust Crystal Canyon. The journey of this track, like the previous ones, is a gorgeous one.
“Anomaly” closes out this album close to the same way it came in. Light and airy, this track seems to mirror “Pollyanna” but with a little bigger edge of energy. There’s something mesmerizing about this track that seems to dare you to stop listening to them. It’s just so beautiful and flows so nicely back to the beginning of this album that it’s hard to not go back and start this journey all over again.
Favorite Track(s): “Luminous”
For Fans Of: Gorgeous Soundscapes; Hidden Ambient Tones; Adventures Through Music
Daydream-ability: 7 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats slept upstairs
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 4 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 6.5 out of 10
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