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Yo La Tengo Release ‘We Have Amnesia Sometimes’: Listen

[Pitchfork]

By Madison Bloom

Yo La Tengo
Yo La Tengo, September 2019 (Suzi Pratt/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Yo La Tengo launched a new Bandcamp page and shared a five-minute track called “James and Ira demonstrate mysticism and some confusion holds (Monday).” They continued to release a new song each day and, now, they’ve shared a fifth track titled “Ira searches for the slide, sort of (Friday).” The band has compiled all of the songs into one release called We Have Amnesia Sometimes. Listen below.

Yo La Tengo recorded the five tracks over the course of 10 days in late April and early May during socially distanced sessions at the band’s rehearsal space in Hoboken, New Jersey. YLT’s Ira Kaplan said in a press release:

If you’ve spent any time hanging out with us at our rehearsal space in Hoboken—that pretty much covers none of you—you’ve heard us playing formlessly (he said, trying to sidestep the word “improvising”). Most of the songs we’ve written in the last 25 years have begun that way, but often we do it for no other reason than to push away the outside world.

In late April, with the outside world weighing on everybody, we determined that the three of us could assemble in Hoboken without disobeying the rules laid out by Governor Murphy, and resumed… “practicing” hardly describes it, because we’ve done no practicing per se, and anyway what would we be practicing for… playing. James set up one microphone in the middle of the room in case we stumbled on something useful for the future. Instead we decided to release some of the things we did right now.

In addition to releasing We Have Amnesia Sometimes, Yo La Tengo have announced two ticketed livestream performances taking place Saturday, July 18 at 9 p.m. Eastern, and Sunday, July 19 at 1 p.m. Eastern. The band will be performing as We Have Amnesia Live. According to a press release, the live sets will include 30-45 minute performances of “formless” music. Tickets cost $10 and all proceeds will benefit the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute fighting for democracy.

Revisit Pitchfork’s 5-10-15-20 interview “Yo La Tengo on the Music That Made Them Indie-Rock Heroes.”