“Beautifully festooned cathedrals of sound.” – Strange Attractors
I’ll admit it, the growing number of artists proclaiming or being proclaimed to embody some post-Takoma embrace of American Primitive meets punk meets drone meets everything gets overwhelming. So do the Glenn Jones namedrops on every review/mention of every instrumental acoustic guitar player. But musicians like Israeli guitarist/composer aren’t readily respected like they should be, so a bit of hype is just a means to an end. And the end in this case is an enjoyable thing; a focused, highly virtuosic record of guitar compositions all at once energetic and atmospheric. And of course, Yona can shred, and doesn't hide it. See “Kottke and the Orchards” for some exhilarating Blackshaw/Kottke-esque fingerpicking speed. “Mad About You” begins as standard Takoma fair, but quickly evolves into a dense, almost operatic musical narrative. Hints of Mingus somewhere in there. “Miss Fortune” is a mostly-minimalistic, better version of what you’d hear on 3am classical guitar radio. “Poetry In Vallhalla” is my favorite; strange dissonant/Spanish/uplifting/Renaissance mixture that sounds like something that flows through Joanna Newsom’s blood. If you’re feeling really quiet and studious, try “Bella”. As with most records of this sort, it’s a moment-specific thing; don’t play it before a party or anything.