It has been nearly three years since Kelowna, British Columbia’s Yukon Blonde released their sophomore album Tiger Talk, which displayed a band heavily influenced by the shimmering instrumentation popular in the 80’s and 90’s pop scene while at the same time, current with the trends of Indie music. Back then the band admitted that pop music from back then comprised most of what they were listening to and it seems like not much has changed. In fact it appears the band took more influence from the 80’s and 90’s for On Blonde. The album appears to further embrace that vintage sound. It is laced with synthesizers both light and shimmering in songs like “Favorite People” as well as dark and full of bass found in “Saturday Night.” The drums are steady and the guitar filtered through tube amps in order to give the music that vintage authenticity.
Tiger Talk seemed to be another Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix of sorts. An indie album soaked in Pop hooks and catchy choruses that begged you to become a fan. Here the Blonde are just trying to be themselves and make music influenced by what they’ve been listening to. You will still find songs like “Como” and “Confused”, which sound as if they would be right at home on this album’s predecessor but now there are songs like “Hannah” and “Starvation”, which both feel miles away from the band’s sophomore album style.
The lyrical content of this album in most cases drifts towards entering a relationship. This is the case in both “Make You Mine” and “I Wanna Be Your Man.” In the first song, vocalist Jeffery Innes has to get the girl away from her boyfriend. Talk about awkward lyrics! Hands down the best words found on the album appear in “Favourite People”, which finds Innes talking about how sure of himself he is and the liberating freedom of leaving a possessive girlfriend while also poking fun at Rihanna’s “Shine Bright Like A Diamond.”
If there is anything negative about this album it is “Saturday Night.” The drum driven intro is sure to have you tapping along and the darker tone anchored down by deep and rich bass along with synthesizer is all well and good, but the song runs just over five minutes long and becomes a tad repetitive. It isn’t until the fourth minute that it freshens up thanks in large part to the vocal fade out and the bass and synthesizer taking things over.
On Blonde is unlike its predecessor which makes for a hit and miss. The hit being that you appreciate the band stepping into their vintage sounding comfort area. The miss being that you tend to yearn for the more current Indie-Pop sounds of songs like “My Girl”, “Six Dead Tigers”, and “For LA” found on Tiger Talk.
Luke Williams grew up a fan of punk and pop punk in a field of cows just outside of Barrie, Ontario. You can follow him on Twitter @musicwithluke