Talking about the album, Lippy shares, “If there is any silver lining to the horrors of Covid, it’s this: I finally had the time and space not only to dive deep into my music but also to fully comprehend my reasons for making it. Nearly every song I wrote in this period ultimately ended up on the album, and all of them come from this deeper understanding of why I need to express myself through music.”
Lippy’s renaissance title comes from his multiple talents as a designer, editor, musician, singer-songwriter, and author. He’s the creator of the award-winning arts journal, ESOPUS, which The New York Times referred to as “a thing of lavish, eccentric beauty.” Each issue of ESOPUS included a CD of music commissioned by Lippy from artists like Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projector, Neko Case, Kimya Dawson, and Cloud Nothings.
A classical guitarist, Lippy began making his own music, explaining, “I started playing around with GarageBand whenever I had a spare minute or two.”
While still working on ESOPUS and other projects, Lippy eventually recorded 30 demos, which he sent to Dean Wareham of Luna. Wareham hooked him up with producer and musician Kramer. The two went to work on mixing, in due course leading to the release of Here We Are, followed by releasing his cover of Bing Crosby’s “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” his response to the pandemic. He then released “Names,” a live performance of “Entente,” and “Good Start Remixed.”
Yearbook begins with “Ambitions,” a piano-driven tune full of trembling, sparkling colors conveying hints of prog-rock as well as alt-rock. Lippy’s dreamy tenor infuses the lyrics with wistful coloration. The song escalates in resonance and layered textures and then finally fades.
Entry points include “More In Common” traveling on an elegant piano riding a swaying rhythm. Pristine and velvety, Lippy’s vocals recall John Denver at times, while at other times conjuring up The Alan Parsons Project. Creamy and undulating, it’s a beautiful song, rife with misty hues.
“Names” rolls out on gleaming patinas of sound, lush and vibrant, as Lippy’s voice projects gently surface tones. “Using You” features darker colors, low and trickling. Yet as the harmonics proceed, the melody assumes luminous aspects. Round, deeper, and more philosophical, Lippy’s voice is at once smooth and lusciously shaded.
“Aisle 4” offers a piano pushing out lustrous raindrop-like colors, while brilliant strings imbue the tune with pulsating tones. Three-part harmonies give the lyrics shimmering washes of textures. The final track, “Undertow” pushes percolating bubbles on a redolent piano, while soft vocals glide dreamily overhead, infusing the song with diffusing timbres.
Elusively flavored and alive with graceful sonic filaments, Yearbook delivers sinuous melodies capped by gilded vocals.
Yearbook Track Listing:
2. More in Common
3. Appian Way
4. Body and Blood
7. Using You
8. Aisle 4
Run Time: 43 minutes
Release Date: June 25, 2021
Record Label: Self-Release