WHY? Share new 360° video for “This Ole King”
Viewing recommended via Google Chrome or YouTube app. Best experienced via a VR headset.
New LP Moh Lhean Out 3 March via Joyful Noise
Full European Tour Dates Announced
With support from Tall Tall Trees
UK + EU TOUR DATES
31 May: Trabendo – Paris, France
2 June: Le Cooperative de Mai – Clermond-Ferrand, France
3 June: Marché Gare – Lyon, France
6 June: Hare & Hounds – Birmingham, UK
7 June: Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds, UK
8 June: CCA – Glasgow, UK
9 June: Gorilla – Manchester, UK
10 June: Thekla – Bristol, UK
12 June: The Haunt – Brighton, UK
13 June: Village Underground – London, UK
14 June: Botanique Rotonde – Brussels, Belgium
16 June: Maifeld Derby Festival – Mannheim, Germany
17 June: Festival am Hochofen – Duisburg, Germany
18 June: Ubel & Gefährlich – Hamburg, Germany
20 June: Festaal Kreuzberg – Berlin, Germany
21 June: Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands
WHY? release their new album Moh Lhean on 3 March via Joyful Noise and head out on tour in Europe in June, with support on all dates from Tall Tall Trees. Described as “wild and wacky” in The 405‘s premiere, WHY?‘s new video for “This Ole King” exploits the 360° frame for a narrative that runs in reverse. Director Scott Fredette artfully combined 360° live action footage, stop motion, 2D green-screen effects and motions graphics to create the video’s choreographed look.
Fredette explains;“The video was such an interesting process to execute as we experimented with how to use and manipulate the 360 degree frame in unique ways. It is cool to be able to immerse yourself in somewhat grim but surreal environment in which the video takes place. We pushed that look and it’s fun to watch.”
“This Ole King” finds Wolf‘s fragile voice and emotionally-charged lyrics accompanied by acoustic guitar and upright bass, before the song morphs into a sea of shimmering, kaleidoscopic pop.
““This Ole King” seems to be an exhale of sunshine — like one of those “light boxes” for impending Seasonal Affective Disorder. “This Ole King” achieves its warmth through fractured acoustic guitar melodies, ashy backup vocals, and cheeky Bongo embellishments with twinkling tambourine licks.” – Stereogum
“This Ole King, which pairs a simple beat to porch musings and an uplifting chorus, could have worked on Beck’s Mellow Gold” – Uncut
“The moment the album opens with “This Ole King” the questioning tone of Yoni Wolf’s vocal cascades, with trademark slow, low chants and gradual build to multi-vocal layers. And that calming, comforting beauty of Wolf’s voice has become no-less magical over the years, and neither have the words he wraps his voice around.” – Line of Best Fit
WHY?‘s sixth album, Moh Lhean, is due out March 3rd via Joyful Noise Recordings. A follow-up to 2012’s Mumps, Etc., it’s the first fully home-recorded WHY? album since the project’s 2003 debut, made mostly in Yoni Wolf‘s studio and co-produced by his brother Josiah.
While WHY? fans will certainly encounter familiar sounds on Moh Lhean – Wolf‘s sour-sweet croon, deadpan poet’s drawl, and ear for stunningly fluid arrangements with obsessive attention to detail – the album also reveals that a transformation has taken place. The singer’s self-depricating swagger and cynical squint is replaced by a sense of peace in the unknowing; his wry smirk traded in for a holy shrug. This cosmic sense of calm and acceptance woven throughout the album is due in part to Wolf‘s circumstances during the writing process: he suffered a severe health scare far from home, but rather than let it drive him to depression, he gained a stronger connection to the living.
Movement is a key theme of Moh Lhean – it’s a breakup album without a romantic interest. “Easy” plays like a ward against the old ghost who haunts “January February March,” while “George Washington” finds Wolf on a tiny watercraft, paddling away as that malevolent force stays ashore. “The Water” morphs a moody folk tune into some strange new form of full-band dub, while “Consequence of Nonfiction” wavers between a quiet meditation for guitar, clarinet, and voice, and wild, sax-strewn art-funk. Psychedelic album closer “The Barely Blur” – which features Son Lux – explores the nature of existence, focusing on the infinite instead of leaving listeners with the macabre chill of death. Album track “Proactive Evolution,” which features mewithoutYou’s Aaron Weiss, even samples Wolf’s doctors – the very voices that helped shape his new outlook.
There’s something about the album that’s both ephemeral and distinctive, like something the Wolf brothers might’ve heard on a praise album in their father’s synagogue as kids, or on some ’60s hippie LP they thrifted in their teens, or, perhaps, on the other side of the records they’ve been making their entire adult lives. While the meaning of the words “Moh Lhean” remain a mystery, they most likely have something to do with letting go, rebirth, coming home to a familiar feeling…or venturing out to discover a new one.
Preorder here: https://www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com/collections/new-releases/products/moh-lhean
3 March – Joyful Noise Recordings
1. This Ole King
2. Proactive Evolution
4. January February March
5. One Mississippi
6. The Longing Is All
7. George Washington
8. The Water
9. Consequence of Nonaction
10. The Barely Blur