Published Sep 23, 2020It's hard to know how Yves Jarvis does it. His instrumentation and approach to singing all seem familiar enough, but on songs like "In Every Mountain," with its start-and-stop structure, his music has less of a sound and more of a hue.
The Montreal-via-Calgary explorer of time, space, and his own instincts, is truly in top form on Sundry Rock Song Stock. The multi-layered tunes get way down deep into your mind, curling up to pleasure points like a soulful, psychedelic cat. Jarvis's voice is some kind of collage machine; when he sings, many aspects of his persona have seemingly come to a mutual understanding of what needs to be said but don't quite agree on when to start saying it. It's a wash-y whoosh of expression.
Musically, Jarvis is on some weird Alan Parsons-meets-J Dilla shit. "Abrosia" recalls a Bitches Brew cut with the drum faders pulled down to the ground, while something more peaceful, like "Victim," has the hallmarks of an AM pop ballad, until all of the Yves Jarvis-es whisper-sing together, somehow both tenderly but with just enough eeriness to be off-kilter.
As he has done on recent albums, Jarvis adopts colour theory again, moving from "morning yellow optimism" and "midnight blue contemplation" to what he believes is his "natural state of green," which conjures "feelings of wildness, boundless energy, and an anti-establishment streak." Is this why Jarvis created an outdoor studio set-up to capture Sundry Rock Song Stock and its airy, liberated vibe? Your guess is as good as Wikipedia's entry about colour theory. All we can truly know is that Yves Jarvis has brought his insides out on a spellbinding album that's equally puzzling and gratifying. (Flemish Eye)