Yo La Tengo : Summer Sun

NYC weirdniks come in from the cold for 11th full length album

Enigmatic and frankly smug about it, New Yorkers Yo La Tengo are the high-brow uptown to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs seedy downtown. Beloved of esoteric side projects as well as foggy pop moments, their long career has won them adoration in lo-fi circles, but ‘Summer Sun’ sees Ira Kaplan’s three-headed avant-rock behemoth embrace something like normality. Inevitably, it’s a normality filtered through a million layers of noodling but with luminous tunes emerging through the murk. As irresistible at its peak – the luscious ‘Little Eyes’ and a lovely interpretation of Big Star’s ‘Take Care’ – as it is baffling at its prog-jazz edges, ‘Summer Sun’ is the crowbar that prises open the door into a world of left-field beauty. Step inside in wonder.

Jim Wirth