For the better part of a decade, Yon Yonson have bubbled away as one of Sydney’s most sorely loved acts. They’re far from the city’s biggest or most popular band, but a special connection to their fans, forged through openness and a tendency to never take themselves too seriously, has earned them a place in the hearts of many.
Tomorrow they release their final album and a fitting goodbye, Keep Cool But Care. But the Yonnies, lovely boys that they are, have given Happy Mag an exclusive early listen.
Keep Cool But Care, the final album from Yon Yonson, will make you laugh and cry in equal measure – as any meaningful goodbye should.
The record hits in all the ways you’ll know and love Yon Yonson for; the compositions are moving, Andrew Kuo’s lyrics are philosophical and unbarred, and a tongue-in-cheek-ness rears its head more than once.
And while Keep Cool But Care does hit in all the bittersweet ways a Yon Yonson record usually does, it’s hard to disconnect the songs from what they signal: a farewell. Tracks like Cardboard or Ten Four ripple with an extra layer of sentimentality when you let the context creep into the sounds.
Yon Yonson have always made music that treads the fine line between happy and sad; unwittingly, they may have been preparing for an ending all along. But even when you separate the personal significance of Keep Cool But Care from the actual songs, you’re left with a record that’s gorgeously choreographed.
The album’s most stirring moments like Miss You (Kitty Remix) or Dry Cough sit easily alongside lighthearted or poppier takes, such as Staring At The Wall featuring longtime collaborator Bilby or the fourth wall breaking Shit Yonnies Song #83. Light and shade, self-reflectiveness and omniscience become twisted together in the intricate, idiosyncratic compositions.
If you’ve spent years listening to Yon Yonson, Keep Cool But Care is everything you could ask for as an end-of-an-era statement. If you’ve never heard of them and wondering why the hell this article is so soppy, well… you’ve got nearly a decade’s worth of class to catch up on.
Wherever you go next, Yon Yonson, godspeed. Thanks for always making such nice music.
Keep Cool But Care is out Friday May 15, 2020.