Richard Youngs Autumn Response

At first blush, you seem to be listening to an acoustic folk album run through some peculiar network of delay and loops. Then you realise what you’re hearing is actually Scottish artist Youngs taking simple techniques of vocal doubling and guitar overdubbing in strange and unexpected directions. Instead of reinforcing themes and creating vocal harmonics, Youngs’ voices keep to the same octave but drift across rhythms to create off-kilter phases that occasionally interlock. Animal Collective member Avey Tare’s recently released Pullhair Rubeye was an album of electro-folk songs that were then flipped to run entirely in reverse and the initially irritating strategy eventually stirred a curious quasi-rewiring of listening expectations. Likewise, the songs of Autumn Response would be admirable and accomplished played straight with one vocal and one guitar line but this off-centre take creates a tension that serves themes of dread, as on "Paths in the City,” whose multiply repeated refrain "Sometimes I feel there is no recovery” transforms into something exponentially more dire. Far from being all about the process, Youngs’ work is strong and spirited at its core, and this core is enrobed in layers of richness. (Jagjaguwar)