Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
Brooklyn drift-and-strum duo Christy and Emily (a.k.a. Christy Edwards and Emily Manzo) have spent a few years in Brooklyn developing their viscous slurry, which–as of last year’s YIMBY staple “Lover’s Talk”, was a pillow-like fog that split the difference between dreampop reverb and art-folkie intimacy. Third album No Rest (due April 6 on Klangbad) loses a thick layer of their signature fluffgaze, opting for a stripped-down, vulnerable quaver–ultimately their best album yet. Produced by Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust on location in Germany, No Rest was all the warmth of Faust IV with none of the clang, allowing the voices of Edwards and Manzo to remain dry and unadorned atop shimmering seas of organs, malleted cymbals, slowcore guitars, and studio swirls. “Little World” is a gorgeous mix of Mazzy Star moods and ’90s college-rocker theatrical plainspeak, using a haze of back-slap guitar and slinky keys for Emily to wail about fear, apprehension, and guilt–all before a thunderstorm of what sounds like kalimbas and gamelan sweep them all away.
What is “Little World” about?
It’s about taking risks. I was having a conversation with a friend about relationships and we came to the conclusion that things left unsaid will always be the very things that destroy you. I decided that would be a good song. I lifted the left hand keyboard part a little from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures At An Exhibition.”
How did you approach No Rest differently than last year’s Superstition?
For Superstition we had a lot of time, and we used that time to layer tracks and use all the different musicians available to us here in NYC. Superstition is a collection of songs that span a longer amount of time, some were older and just didn’t make it onto our first release, while others were brand new. For No Rest, most of the songs were pretty new. Some have changed since that recording. But that’s a good thing; it means they’re alive.
Tell me about recording in Germany.
The space where we recorded this record is a huge converted paper mill. The electricity comes from turbines in the Danube and there are stunning views of the southern German countryside. Every day our meals were cooked by a fantastic chef who happened to also be our producer, Jo. I can’t say that there was any one thing going on here except that it was total heaven, and in a word, inspirational.
How did you make the sounds at the end of this track?
There is a sample from a movie at the end, and also some sounds from a children’s toy.
You two seem to use less reverb on this album, was this a conscious decison?
If you are referring to the vocals, then that is all Joachim Irmler. He was very specific in how he wanted to treat our voices. I think he considers the album a vocal album first and foremost.
Christy & Emily play Monster Island Basement on March 13 with Water Fai. The record release party is at the Knitting Factory on April 5, with Blarvuster, the Bridesmaids and Hilary Hawke.
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