Younolovebunny - Monster Jazz

12 songs
31:21 minutes
***** ****
Safe In The Rain


If youíd translate Claus FrÝhlichís name into English, it would mean Jolly Claus, which is actually funny as his music isnít exactly brimming with cheerfulness. But heís also no sloth, as heís come up with his very own philosophy that states if someone wants to release his music, he gets really busy writing and recording songs so that the album is ready in a few months only. You might think that this will result in a hurried effort without any real soul, but you might be surprised that his music not only sounds better than expected, but even manages to surpass my expectations.

His new album Monster Jazz has been released on the French label Safe In The Rain and contains a dozen tracks that make it to a good half hour. Claus FrÝhlich mostly plays all the instruments by himself, and yet most songs sound like recorded by an entire band. Occasional guest musicians show up on a few selected tracks.

The album begins with Where Are You Now?, and it is obvious from the start that Younolovebunny is heavily influenced from early nineties lo-fi indie rock. Think of Daniel Johnston with a backing band, or also early Guided By Voices or some of the more obscure acts from the Elephant 6 collective. The opener is also a first single and really comes with an unforgettable chorus. The following Ride The Lightning is NOT a Metallica cover version, comes more laid back and has this certain Western atmosphere of a cowboy languidly riding into the sunset. Body Of Alcohol is another more rocking tune and reminds me somehow of the Rolling Stones doing their best to sound like Dinosaur Jr. Blueberry Sky And The Sea Of Birds come with a gnarly bassline, a beatbox and an overall melancholic atmosphere. Caves is a collaboration with American lo-fi musician Adrian Orange and feels darker than the preceding material. Magic Moon ends the first half with a nice quiet moment before the second half continues with Battle Of The Stars, an incredibly catchy lo-fi indie pop song with superb arrangements and wonderfully jangly chorus. Lily and Jamaica continue in that vein without quite achieving the same greatness. Stressed And Happy Snow Apple is a collaboration with The Pedestrian Pets. The drum machine has a very low bitrate sound, there are occasional Super Mario Gameboy sound effects, but overall overstays its welcome with its five-minute length. Who Makes The Truth is a cover version of a song by Adrian Orange who we heard earlier on the album. This is another highlight and despite its lo-fi attitude, it sounds a lot more polished than the original version. The album concludes with Sun Love, a quiet song that feels a bit lost but is nevertheless a fitting ending to the record.

Of course Younolovebunny has his share of influences, but his masterful songwriting makes him appear as an equal instead of just being a copycat. Monster Jazz is lo-fi, but that doesnít mean it has to have a crappy sound. The album uses the aesthetics of the genres to transport us thirty years into the past. Fans of the aforementioned bands should be delighted.

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