Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin: Let It Sway

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Hell, a lot has changed with indie rock/pop since 2005. Where Broom captured the innocence of a slowly building scene, Let It Sway finds itself mired in a chronological crisis -- struggling to find its footing with these modern times. Fans of the band will mostly appreciate the band's tweaking of their sound, but those hoping for a Broom v. 2 might just be paddle-less up shit's creek.

What the critics are saying:

Pitchfork: On first listen to their new album, Let It Sway, SSLYBY sound like they're done fucking around in the minor leagues, newly invigorated after the 2008's innocuous Pershing. "Back in the Saddle" backs up the mission-statement intent of its title, a sturdy foundation of anthemic guitars both folky and power chord-driven, support a carousel of alternate-reality radio melodies. The song actually demands to be heard, as does the the effortless "Sink/Let It Sway" and the infectious, huge "na na na" chorus on "Banned (By the Man)".

MusicOHM: Musically, Let It Sway is a pitch-perfect balance of SSLYBY's previous aesthetics; it's got Broom's often charming feigned simplicity and smile-inducing catchiness, but it's also another in a series of steps forward in songcraft signalled (if a bit miscued) on Pershing. Lyrics range from referencing Lewis Carroll (Phantomwise), music criticism (Critical Drain), vampirism (the grungy All Hail Dracula!), and solitude (In Pairs, in which Phil Dickey laments: "Not all god's creatures come in pairs, you know."). But heady subject matter is no match for Let It Sway's nearly constant barrage of good feeling.

The Skinny: Like a breath of fresh air, tracks like Back In The Saddle or the anthemic Banned (By The Man) are invigorating blasts of pretension-free, spirit lifting frivolity in a sometimes turgid world of chin-stroking beats and dirgey guitars. Yeah, you may feel a little embarrassed if a couple of trend-setting mates drop by mid-listen, but that'll say more about you than the Yeltsins.

Sputnik Music: It's a shame, because as SSLYBY have continued to expand their sound the genre that they were a few years late to has already grown past them. James Mercer is off doing things with Danger Mouse; Ben Kweller was indulging in alt-country last go-around; most of the Elephant 6 bands are either off getting freaky with themselves (Of Montreal) or spacing out (Apples in Stereo). If the band doesn't start catching up to their peers, they're going to end up a lot more like their misbegotten namesake than they would probably prefer.

Let It Sway is out now via Polyvinyl.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.