If By Yes breaks conventions. The music that is contained on “Salt on Sea Glass” bounces around considerably, from indie rock to twee to jazz, avant-garde, and a whole host of other different approaches. This is not too surprising, giving the pedigree that the quartet possess. With stints in That Dog and Cibo Matto, If By Yes are mature and have the energy to create an album that is wholly unique. “Salt on Sea Glass” begins with “You Feel Right”, a track that is particularly interesting given its unwillingness to be pigeonholed.
With each subsequent note, the constituent members of If By Yes take their listeners to different places. However, the band is able to build a sturdy foundation with each subsequent track, and by the time they get to “Three As Four”, chances are good that listeners will be utterly and completely hooked. While “Eliza”, the immediate predecessor to “Three As Four”, contains a vocal cameo by David Byrne, I feel that the disc’s highest notes come when the quartet are able to work alone.
While the album comes from and takes listeners to left field, “Salt on Sea Glass” nevertheless contains enough catchy arrangements and interesting soundscapes to ensure that the album remains in players and on iPods for a good, long time. The different works that each member brings to the table are fairly lengthy, but I have a feeling that the effort here will represent the way in which many current audiences will begin to explore each member’s previous works. Check out your local, well-stocked independent store for copies of “Salt on Sea Glass”
Top Tracks: You Feel Right, Lightning in Your Eyes
If By Yes – Salt on Sea Glass (CD) / 2011 Chimera Records / 11 Tracks / http://www.ifbyyes.com