The Sanddollars EP is the latest offering from WHY?, a folk-pop, indie-hop, sometimes-mustachioed, psych-rock quartet fronted by Yoni Wolf, who for the best part of six years has recorded solo under the same name; he’ll continue, his identity now merged with brother Josiah Wolf (a mean drummer who, like Yoni, plays just about everything), guitarist Matt Meldon, and all-around utility man Doug McDiarmid.
Sanddollars breaks in listeners easy for the (sure to be) life-altering full-length Elephant Eyelash. The EP picks up where Oaklandazulasylum and Early Whitney left off , with Wolf’s darkly whimsical words curling like creeper vines around an ever-widening wall of music. The opening track, “Miss Ohio’s Nameless,” rolls along pastoral and epic while Wolf’s smile-twisted singsong echoes overtop. The frantic ode to youthful vulnerability “500 Fingernails” he sings in a deadpan drawl. The EP moves forward and WHY? digs deeper into their collective chops and overactive imagination. After the first minute, “Sick 2 Think” becomes a gorgeously lilting jam for piano, drums, turntable and bass, while “Next Atlanta” moves slowly under the cover of dusk and “Pantone Cyan” is a study in Technicolor psychedelics.
The clip-and-collage aesthetic of Wolf’s earlier efforts has grown up into full songs , pretty things with choruses and falsettos and layers and suchlike. The title track is the most complete yet (a major-chord-driven piano-fest that devolves into a Pavement-worthy comedown), and an apt teaser for what’s to come on Elephant Eyelash dropping in September.