Childs: Yui
Static Discos

Paul Marrón (guitars, keyboards, programming) and Guillermo Bátiz (programming) call their Childs' tracks ‘electronic lullabies,' a term that nicely captures their songs' endearing, child-like character. Anything but twee, Yui is a remarkably beautiful and oft-melancholy (one song even titled “S.a.d.”) fusion of delicate digital, analog, and acoustic sounds that not only reflects Childs' love for the sweet musings of Múm, Boards of Canada, and Isan but also the epic reach of Sigur Rós and Four Tet.

Throughout the album, voices drift through dreamy, string-laden landscapes while chiming guitars transport songs into higher galaxies. Among the standouts, “Yui” envelops the listener in a huge, slow-moving cloud of heavenly melodies and guitar haze, though the song's second half turns even more captivating when a distant chorus floats over the song's lush base, intensifying its epic quality. In the equally hypnotic “Marisal,” willowy strings caress piano-kissed melodies and hushed vocals before the song gallops to an epic close. Gorgeous keyboard melodies chime and voices murmur throughout the stately “Reki” and “Ian P” has more than its share of goose-bump moments too. Since initiating Childs in 2001, Marrón and Bátiz have perfected the group's sound as Yui arrives fully formed. Though influences sometimes surface a little too baldly (the melodica-laden “Oliver” is a tad too similar to Múm, for example), the album still impresses as a captivating suite of hypnotic sounds.

November 2006