By Katelyn Ankney
After a relatively silent decade, yndi halda have finally returned with their follow-up LP, Under Summer, coupled with a UK tour. The post-rock band's brand new effort is a layered, instrumental goldmine. They remain true to themselves in scope and intricacy, but with the addition of subtle vocals. The result is what feels like a sweeping, emotional journey.
The first track on the album, “Together Those Leaves,” starts out with stripped down guitar, adding somber vocals. It feels as though you're truly embarking through the woods. When the violin swoops in, it is wrenching right to your core. The song continues on softly, but powerful. At almost four minutes, things begin to build, only to take you back down moments later. The voices become disembodied and the instrumentals turn atmospheric until we get back up again, layer by layer, slowly building to an emotional payoff.
“Golden Threads from the Sun” immediately feels lighter, as though you're shedding your skin. At first listen, I was reminded of spring: cool, gray, hopeful. As things pick up around 3:54, the sound becomes sturdier, almost tangible. Guided by steady drum beats, the track builds; a strong point for yndi halda. Again, you're taken on a rollercoaster, following strategic ups and downs. For another band, this may become tiring, but the sheer scale and cinema of this album makes you always eager for what is coming next.
Things continue on like this through the end of the record. In this they have created a heavy, masterful listen. Each track stirs something in you – the solemn strings leading you gently into “Helena,” the grounding vocals laced throughout “This Very Flight.” There are highs and lows, as well as numerous surprises. Under Summer is both relentless and incredibly moving. Though yndi halda took extensive time coming up with their second full-length release, it is easy to see why. Each song comes off as painstakingly layered, and offers up powerful imagery. When things become exhausting, they energize you with an ethereal wall of sound.
Needless to say, their second release is breathtaking and true to form. It would be impossible not to appreciate the time and care put into Under Summer. But with this, it has also instilled a desperate hope that we won't have to wait so very long for the next one.