There is a wonderful little Canadian band that has been consistently fishing around in my brain over the past year. They’re the kind of band that seemed so ordinary at first listen, and I thought they would have lost my attention with a mere few weeks, but I’m going on 8 months of listening to Yukon Blonde and their uplifting and friendly tunes just will not leave me alone. It took only three months for me to go from never having heard of this band to having seen them in concert four times. These guys will start by getting you up on your feet, but their concise jams and well-crafted tunes will keep you listening long after you thought you would be done with them.
Yukon Blonde has just come off the release of their second album, Tiger Talk. I love Yukon Blonde for their ability to combine simple, catchy hooks while still going to unexpected places with their songs. They seemed so ordinarily enjoyable when I first was exposed to them at Osheaga last summer, but while their music initially comes across as simply catchy, a closer look reveals indie pop-rock that includes just enough to make you listen to their albums over and over without ever getting tired of hearing energy-filled jams coupled with classic harmonic vocals.
Tiger Talk brings the familiar bounce of Yukon Blonde’s self-titled debut, but this time with a vengeance. “My Girl” immediately sets the pace for the entire album. They hit fast and they hit hard, but always brimming with the positivity and playfulness that sits at the core of every track. This young band also seems to be getting more comfortable within the studio, resulting in greater production quality on the new record. I’m not actually sure if I like the crisp tone of Tiger Talk…there is definitely some charm to the relatively rough, backyard-y tone of Yukon Blonde, which is much more laid back than Tiger Talk. Favorites are always tough for me to pick, but on this album I think I will go with “Six Dead Tigers” and “Sweet Dee”.
I’m a fan of Yukon Blonde’s albums, no question about it, but I think the greatest thing about the BC-based rock band is their constant touring across Canada. In Montreal last fall, I saw Yukon Blonde at Osheaga, at the Osheaga after party, headlining for Pop Montreal, and opening for the Sheepdogs, all within three months. I have liked them more each time I see them, and as long as they keep churning out the happiest tunes (check out “Babies Don’t Wear Blue Anymore”) and cheap tickets, I will be there every single time. Oh would you look at that, Yukon Blonde is scheduled to play Ottawa Bluesfest on July 14, alongside great names like B.B. King.
If you’re looking for some great summer driving music or a great show to get you on your feet, Yukon Blonde has got you covered! The band is currently streaming Tiger Talk in its entirety on their website