It’s a little “on the nose” that a Canadian indie-pop outfit would go by the same name as a Territory of the Great White North, but I can’t really fault them for the homage to home turf. And at least one of them is actually mostly blonde. So there’s that.
This is their 7th studio album under the name Yukon Blonde (they actually had 2 EPs as Alphababy beforehand…what do you think of the name change?), and I have to say, they absolutely nailed it. I can find no fault in anything on the record. Vindicator focuses a lot of attention on being smooth as melty ice cream and as funky as the weekly sock laundry.
Wait…I mean…You know what I’m saying?
There is a flare for creativity that doesn’t often get heard outside of a Beck album. Take “You Were Mine”, for example. It starts out sounding like a Michael Jackson tune, played through a box fan, then breaks down as a slow jam love-child of George Clinton and Teddy Pendergrass, before going full-on funkadelic. And that only covers 5 minutes of the release.
Wonky, warped synth sounds are the dominant trait of the album, perfectly orchestrated atop beautiful R&B vocals. This is all backed by a rhythm section that should be heralded: bass for days and some of the tightest drumming in pop music.
The stand-out tracks on Vindicator are the aforementioned “You Are Mine” as well as a few mid-album cuts. “Good Times” is a sad, wallflower anthem set to a slow club beat, and “Fuck It” is a Flaming Lips-esque jam about doing your own thing.