Single Review: Seventeen Years - "yas"

seventeen years - yas
(Self-Released 2015)

Seventeen Years has become a fixture of sorts on this blog, appearing in compilations, end-of-the-year lists and even on a special Half-Gifts tape release in early 2014. Over the course of the past 16 months, the incredibly prolific dream pop outfit has amassed three albums' worth of shoegazey post-punk. What once was the solo project of Kansas City's Tony Freijat has blossomed into a trio; the result is an even more polished and hard-hitting version of the immersive nu-gaze "brand" that the Missouri-based songwriter has established so deftly. Yas, the first full-band demo recording that the project has to offer, feels like a theatrical preview of things to come. It's brief, incisive, and features the signature elements of Freijat's previous work that I've come to love. There's the krautrock-y bassline, the brilliantly shimmery lead guitar, the nearly wordless vocals, the linear strong structure that culminates in a crescendo. The fingerprints he leaves all over his work are as undeniable as Kubrick's "one point perspective", Wes Anderson's pastel color pallet, a Hitchcock cameo appearance. If anything, this demo is an improvement on what Seventeen Years has been already been doing perfectly and quietly since the project's inception.