WHY? Reveals new video for “The Barely Blur”

May 18, 2017

Reveals new video for “The Barely Blur”
Watch and share:
European tour May/June
Moh Lhean is out now via Joyful Noise (order)
UK Tour dates:
6 June: Hare & Hounds – Birmingham, UK
7 June: Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds, UK
8 June: CCA – Glasgow, UK
9 June: Gorilla – Manchester, UK
10 June: Thekla – Bristol, UK
12 June: The Haunt – Brighton, UK
13 June: Village Underground – London, UK
(see full EU dates below)

“It’s a thought-out piece of work; a collection of collaborating and competing daubs of colour across a blank canvas; a flock of sounds moving together as one, for one simple reason alone: to bring you joy.” The Line of Best Fit

“An exhale of sunshine — like one of those “light boxes” for impending Seasonal Affective Disorder.” – Stereogum

“This Ole King, which pairs a simple beat to porch musings and an uplifting chorus, could have worked on Beck’s Mellow Gold” – Uncut

Following the release of WHY?‘s sixth album Moh Lhean earlier this year via Joyful Noise Recordings, the band share a stunning video for the track “The Barely Blur”. A follow-up to 2012’s Mumps, Etc., it’s the first fully home-recorded WHY? album since the project’s 2003 debut, made mostly in Yoni Wolf’s studio and co-produced by his brother Josiah. The band will be heading out on the road and will head to the UK in June with support from Joyful Noise label mates Tall Tall Trees, with a live line-up consisting of the Elephant Eyelash-era (2005) line-up, Yoni Wolf, Josiah Wolf, Doug McDiarmid and Matt Meldon.
The video for The Barely Blur was directed by Scott Fredette who explained it was about a, “notion of time and space and how we define ourselves.” The video was premiered via DIY who described it as: “a slow-mo trip through joggers into the park, eventually exploding into a faraway galaxy. It’s quite a trip.”

Yoni Wolf explains more about the track and video: “The Barely Blur was one of the last songs I wrote for Moh Lhean.  It embodies a frustration, in a way, about how incomplete our understanding, even of our own experience, as conscious matter in this universe. That said, it’s not dark really, but more filled with inquisitive wonder.  Idea for the video came to me in my sleep about 6 month ago. The initial idea was just to shoot close ups of runners in a marathon in super slow motion. The idea developed through conversations between myself and Scott, and then further, of course, throughout the process of making the video, as it began to take shape.  Scott would be more equipped to speak on more technical aspects of the video.”

While WHY? fans will certainly encounter familiar sounds on Moh Lhean — Wolf’s sour-sweet croon, deadpan poet’s drawl, and ear for stunningly fluid arrangements with obsessive attention to detail — the album also reveals that a transformation has taken place. The singer’s self-depricating swagger and cynical squint is replaced by a sense of peace in the unknowing; his wry smirk traded in for a holy shrug. This cosmic sense of calm and acceptance woven throughout the album is due in part to Wolf’s circumstances during the writing process: he suffered a severe health scare far from home, but rather than let it drive him to depression, he gained a stronger connection to the living. Album track “Proactive Evolution,” which features mewithoutYou’s Aaron Weiss, even samples Wolf’s doctors — the very voices that helped shape his new outlook.

Movement is a key theme of Moh Lhean — it’s a breakup album without a romantic interest. “Easy” plays like a ward against the old ghost who haunts “January February March,” while “George Washington” finds Wolf on a tiny watercraft, paddling away as that malevolent force stays ashore. “The Water” morphs a moody folk tune into some strange new form of full-band dub, while “Consequence of Nonaction” wavers between a quiet meditation for guitar, clarinet, and voice, and wild, sax-strewn art-funk. Psychedelic album closer “The Barely Blur” — which features Son Lux — explores the nature of existence, focusing on the infinite instead of leaving listeners with the macabre chill of death.

There’s something about the album that’s both ephemeral and distinctive, like something the Wolf Brothers might’ve heard on a praise album in their father’s synagogue as kids, or on some ’60s hippie LP they thrifted in their teens, or, perhaps, on the other side of the records they’ve been making their entire adult lives. While the meaning of the words “Moh Lhean” remain a mystery, they most likely have something to do with letting go, rebirth, coming home to a familiar feeling… or venturing out to discover a new one.

Full European Tour Dates:
May 31 – Paris (Trabendo)+
June 03 – Lyon (Marché Gare)+
June 06 – Birmingham (Hare & Hounds)+
June 07 – Leeds (Belgrave Music Hall)+
June 08 – Glasgow (CCA)+
June 09 – Manchester (Gorilla)+
June 10 – Bristol (Thekla)+
June 12 – Brighton (The Haunt)+
June 13 – London (Village Underground)+
June 14 – Brussels (Botanique Rotonde)+
June 16 – Mannheim (Maifeld Derby Festival)
June 17 – Duisburg (Festival am Hochofen)
June 18 – Hamburg (Ubel & Gefährlich)+
June 20 – Berlin (Festaal Kreuzberg)+
June 21 – Amsterdam (Paradiso)+

+ Tall Tall Trees


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