With their third album, Atlanta’s Arbor Labor Union continue to fill their lungs deep with the Southern air that fed 2020’s New Petal Instants. The band’s sound shed layers between their 2016 debut and NPI. I Hear You was a tougher, darker record than the rest of their catalog and as the band left behind the sound and Sub Pop they seemed to be enjoying themselves, injecting a joyous exploration of Cosmic Americana and Southern Rock throughout the album. There was a feeling that the band had captured the electricity that flowed through the stage and laid it down to tape, sprinting through the record with smiles on their faces.
Yonder, as the band notes, is a bit of a companion piece to New Petal Instants, though it’s tempered that unbridled skid through the speakers a bit. There’s still a sense of ramble that puts them on the shelf next to Garcia Peoples, One Eleven Heavy, and Tonstartssbandht, but just a touch of darkness creeps back into Yonder. The albums are auditory fraternal twins, dressed up in similarities from tone to cover art, but Yonder has a more temperamental spirit, yearning to dance in the sun but brooding every so often as the world weighs down upon it’s creators. The sun can’t shine all the time, and it’ll be nice to have these as ‘Yin’ and ‘Yang’ as the band notes.
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