To follow up his debut album as Night Beds, Winston Yellen wanted to make it clear from the start that Ivywild would be nothing like Country Sleep. “Me Liquor & God” was the first single — and comes early on the full-length tracklist too — and while he’s still grappling with the same demons, the ’80s-leaning synth-fuzz-mash and sticky beats suggest he woke up from country dream pop and headed straight for a sampler. What followed was a string of wide-eyed, lush forays into the world of R&B that somehow ended up in lullaby territory anyway. We’ve heard the orchestral blues of “Corner,” the woozy “Tide Teeth” and the Molly Drake-sampling “Finished.” The full stream yields other gems like the soft funk of “Seratonin” and the airy desperation of “Lay Your Hands.” All the production is stunning — a mad genius country-trance hybrid — but its Yellen’s helium-folk tenor that pushes it even higher, headed for the atmosphere before turning inward last minute. Listen.
Ivywild is out 8/7 via Dead Oceans. Pre-order it here.