Yonder Pond is a solo project from Swiss drummer Remy Strauli, who has played in several other bands of all genres before finally deciding to embark on a solo project. Pondering Aloud is a concept album of progressive rock and is obviously an ode to The Beatles and other bands of the psychedelic ’60s. Strauli says the album is “a complex story about a depressed potato who was betrayed by a naughty rabbit. It deals with the magic and loss of artistic inspiration….” All that may sound a little crazy, but it works perfectly with the feel of the album. I myself am a Beatles superfan, and I found Pondering Aloud to be a mix of Magical Mystery Tour and Revolver, my two favorite albums as it happens. Every song is extremely intricate from the lyrics to the arrangement, to the actual instruments themselves. It’s definitely a trip, and if you aren’t used to psychedelic concept albums, it may seem a little odd, but I promise it’s a fun listen.
The album starts with “Time Flies” which sets the mood with trippy, creepy sounds leading into an upbeat circus type sound. I’m instantly reminded of The Beatles, even without knowing anything about Yonder Pond’s influences, it would have been very apparent. Strauli’s vocals even sound a tad like Paul McCartney’s, clear and understated. The harmonies are very reminiscent of the band’s earlier poppy hits. The same vibe continues with “Rabbit” which was one of my favorite tracks. The psychedelia intensifies with flutes and a chaotic blend of various instruments. Every instruments’ part is detailed and complex and adds an additional layer to the beautiful picture that Yonder Pond paints with his music.
The next few songs continue the upbeat and fun vibe of the album. “Off the Balloon” had electric guitar solos that added a more rock sound to the mix and “Eggs of Power” had more folksy flute sounds. The lyrics tell a story in each song in a different way and sometimes take a nonsensical turn, again very much like the songs of the “Tune in, turn on, drop out” era.
“Label Boss” was my favorite track of Pondering Aloud, with whimsical piano melodies and kaleidoscopic colors, I could visualize every bar. Strauli has a way of taking you on a journey with each song, each instrument takes on a different emotion, creating almost a religious experience. The intensity of each song is impressive, Yonder Pond leaves nothing out and puts everything into every note.
The last few songs become more instrumental and then the album ends with “Everyone is Banging the Drums” which is over ten minutes long and has lots of periodic jamming. I love the combination of piano and guitar. It’s a fitting ending for one hell of a musical story.
Pondering Aloud is an impressive EP. While I can see how it may be overwhelming for someone who isn’t familiar with concept albums, this ’60s nerd loved it. Yonder Pond is obviously a seasoned musician, the album is polished and of professional quality. It’s obviously a nod to his personal musical heroes and I thought it was a fitting tribute. I’d love to hear anything else he comes up with in the future.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook