April 6, 2015

LP: Yowler - The Offer

Yowler's The Offer invokes introspection and personal mythology. 

Sometimes when I listen to The Offer, I feel like I'm wandering through a landscape dotted with bare trees. Sometimes I feel like I'm hiding under the covers, learning how to read tarot cards by the light of my laptop. Sometimes I feel like I'm returning to a river in the middle of nowhere to release a memory into the dark. I always feel like I'm creeping along the edge of a mystery.

As Yowler, Maryn Jones explores minimalism and symbolism, a stark contrast to the music she's made with All Dogs. When I listen to All Dogs, I blast it and scream along to every song while zooming down the highway or dancing around my bedroom. When I listen to Yowler, I need stillness. Maryn opens with an image of water and she invokes various forms of water again and again throughout the tape. On "Holidays" she sings, "Someday the river will find me; solid walls of water / And I'll gestate in white under layers of ice." She paints water as a simultaneously destructive and creative force that sweeps you through hell and brings you back brand new. I wonder if that's the heart of The Offer––introspection and personal mythology.

As I listen to the album over and over, I find myself thinking about the essence of water as an element, how it's about emotion and intuition. And how it can be scary to delve into the world of your feelings. On "The Offer," Maryn sings, "So the offer I make / Is a promise to stay here / May they leave me out of their wandering / And be still." I almost feel like I'm eavesdropping on this radical idea of retreat, which Maryn reinforces on the mantra of her eponymous track, "You can lead me to the water but you cannot make me drink." Settling into solitude, allowing memories and people to pass like shadows, tuning into your own voice and recognizing its importance––perhaps Maryn is musing on self-care as a ritual, even a spiritual practice. I feel like I could read the lyrics of all eight songs on The Offer like I'd read poems in school and pick apart the images, but I prefer settling into the aura. I like the reflection. There's something wonderful about creating a personal mythology from your experiences and sharing it with others and seeing how it resonates. I'll be pondering the world of The Offer for a while. It's beautiful.


Listen to Yowler on bandcamp.

Caroline Rayner, who likes getting tattoos and cutting up old magazines and driving long distances and baking cookies. She also writes things for Tiny Mix Tapes and, when she remembers, her blog.