I’ve done a fair amount of gushing about the new John Andrews album. As he slips back in with the fictional (mythical?) Yawns once more, this time the haze that lingered over his previous albums begins to part, allowing a view of the verdant Laurel Canyon contours below. The guitars still strum with a laconic lilt, but this time Andrews favors the silken sway of piano. He plays these songs with a hammocked ease, letting the afternoon breeze push the tempo with an even quiver. A candlelit aura glides over Cookbook, embracing the slight twinge of gloom outside the environs he creates. These moments together are a refuge from an overcast world, a collective shaking off of the chill and drizzle of 2020 for the comforts of home, even when they become more mandatory than self-mandated.
As a member of Quilt and Woods, Andrews was no stranger to the joys of quietude or the alure of the amber glow, but he has built his own particular aura over the past few years. As such, the current crop of Yawns tunes hangs on the air with a slight humidity, a warmth that can be felt on the skin as the one settles into the record. The record pulls at the listener like a siren call, coaxing us into a state of stasis. It’s hard to want to do anything but lie in the grooves that Andrews has cut, feeling out every softened noted and every vapor of breath before the needle slips into the blackness of silence.
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