Yacht Rock is the most relatable EP I’ve heard all year. Which is both slightly unsettling in terms of my own well-being and completely comforting. Like the best of us do, the relatable anxiousness and insecurity on the inside of the young Vancouver band Winona Forever is covered up with a completely cool and deceivingly chill exterior.
Yacht Rock jumps from one emotional mess to another in an addictive haze of carefully crafted pop hooks, surf rock guitar chords, a splash of lyrical laughs – they rhyme “jacking off” with Mikhail Baryshnikov! – and a good dose of melancholy. “Cellphone” is bubbly and sprightly, only lightly touched by reverb, and capped off by the repetition of the delightfully emo line, “I sleep with my Cellphone next to my head / I guess that’s the closest you’ll ever be to my bed.” Another highlight “I Don’t Go Outside, I Don’t Like Shit,” ironically, kicks up the energy and with it the band’s emo tendencies in its summarization of Gen Y problems (“Netflix is all I need / Full House replaced my family”) – the likeminded (lethargic/depressed) will savour this one.
The final line of the EP (as found in the self-reflective closer “I Wanna Be A Gangster”), reads: “When I was a little kid, I wanted to be cool, but now I just want to be happy.” Despite all of their troubles, Winona Forever have achieved that desired level of cool-ness. Next step: happiness.
Top Tracks: “Cellphone”; “I Don’t Go Outside, I Don’t Like Shit”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)