Subtle is our word of the day. Used in a sentence, Yo La Tengo’s most recent album, Fade, is a subtle album, one where the listener must pay close attention to hear the multi-layered structures created by the band and producer John McEntire. Similarly, subtle can also be used to describe the video for “I’ll Be Around,” where Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan is alone in the woods strumming an acoustic guitar while words, unrelated to the song, appear and fade from screen. You’ll see a recipe for Spicy Tortilla soup and another Spanish Omelet. This could be subtle humor, or a foretelling of the final scene where the actual members of Yo La Tengo are preparing brunch. Just don’t get too lost in the visuals. Like I said earlier, the music requires some level of attention to be fully appreciated. It’s subtle like that.
Don’t forget, Yo La Tengo will be in town for a show at the Beachland Ballrom, a week from Thursday on February 7th. Their new album Fade, one I enjoyed very much, by the way, is out now on Matador Records