When local band IAN releases a new tape of their legendary sad-girl anthems, there is a whole lot to be happy about. Thanks to the magic of BUFU Records, the band’s quiet bedroom pop is taken out of the bedroom and moved into the garage. Equipped with the full band, the songs are filled out with fuzzier, grungier sound. By embracing a bit more noisiness, IAN creates determined energy and the songs deliver the emotions behind them with confidence. Yet they are more than just garage-set rock, and the tracks utilize little tricks to give them unique dreamy qualities . There are songs with erratic rhythms and jangly bridges. Some have whirly distortion and feedback. With deliberately struck chords, the melancholy mood is set even on the most upbeat tracks.
Then there is the unmistakable voice of singer Jillian Medford, which is a force that stands all on its own. Intertwined with the music and often accented with echoing effects, there is a special synergy. On tracks like “If You’re Cryin”, it meets the instruments as they crash together at the perfect moments. On others like “I Don’t Care” it takes center stage, reaching a high squeak or soaring along earnestly. With the distinct tone of her voice, no emotions could possibly get lost in the mix. The lyrics are just as poignant, using simple poem-like rhymes to express complicated emotions. The songs stare you down with wide eyes, sad and sweet all at once, and it would be impossible not to listen.
BUFU Records proves again that they will never stop bringing the world the some of the best Boston jams, and you can get IAN now as a tape or digital version. Try and catch the band on their tour with Littlefoot, or be keeping an eye out for when they get back.