There is very little about Ylang Ylang
—a new local "supergroup" based on the songwriting of former Panther and the Planet the frontman Charlie Salas-Humara
and featuring drummer Jake Morris
(Joggers, the Shaky Hands), bassist Ricci Swift
(Patterns) and viola/organ player Caroline Buchalter
(Spooky Dance Band)—that is cool. But before you call me out, lemme go on for just a second. What I mean is that "Haunted Seeds" probably won't resonate with the pack of kids who scour the Internet for the latest chillwave mix or freak out over the Deadmau5 stage setup. Instead Ylang Ylang push straight up Indie Rock that harkens back to the day when the term actually meant something: the early '90s.
First, there's Salas-Humara's guitar tone, which could be lifted straight off an Archers of Loaf or Chavez record without anyone noticing. Morris' drums are essential at pushing "Haunted Seeds" forward, but they don't dominate the mix, instead working perfectly with the texture added by Buchalter's warm viola playing. And that bassline—dang, the bassline—totally makes the whole thing tick. Swift might just be the secret weapon here, as I've been telling anyone within earshot that Patterns are the most underrated band in Portland for well over a year now.
"Haunted Seeds" works on a lot of levels for me, but a lot of it comes down to being nostalgic for a certain time (the '90s, for sure, but also the sun-kissed pysch pop of the '60s and even the Minutemen's sense of fun) that doesn't get the attention it deserves. "Haunted Seeds" is the rare song that is both a homage to that time and a declaration that these guys are doing something new—and if it isn't part of the zeitgeist, well, then maybe we have to redefine the definition of cool.
Cascade Community Radio Post