Out of Minneapolis, Minnasota comes enigmatic artist Austin Carson, better known as YYY, with a new spin on one of the most iconic albums of all time- The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. It is YYY’s first full length album, that features a number of Minneapolis-based artists that are just as eccentric as Carson himself. The most well-known track from Pet Sounds, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” features rapper deM atlaS (A.K.A. Josh Turner) and it keeps the spirit of the original song while bringing something entirely new to the table as well.
YYY’s entire sound, presentation, and essence revolves around a carefully cultivated aesthetic that speaks volumes about Carson and what he values in his work. I am a huge fan of it- it’s fun but melancholic, with nostalgia from past decades seeping through. It’s a trip that I am always overjoyed to stumble upon. It’s got a lot in common with a genre I once admired only ironically- vaporwave. While the two sounds are brought about in completely different manners, they both give me similar pleasure and oddly visceral emotional reactions. It’s an accquired taste, but one I’d suggest everyone to attempt.
The song opens with a collection of sounds, including ocean waves, that make the entire track sound atmospheric to begin with. You know it’s not your mother’s beach rock immediately, and it does not disappoint. The music sounds flat, but you know it’s meant to be that way. It makes the song feel like it has an entirely different element beneath the original’s happy-go-lucky tune, despite staying true to it as well. YYY was so brilliant in his execution to the point that I ended up looping the song over and over for hours, just appreciating the nuances in the music and the effects he used to give “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” its otherworldly charm.
dem atlaS offers his voice for “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and utterly kills it. The vocals are smooth and airy, with the same underlying melancholic sound that makes the entire track feel surreal. It’s almost like YYY reached into a parallel universe and picked the song up. There’s an almost ethereal feel to the song, and deM atlaS’ voice adds to that perfectly. In fact, it likely wouldn not come close to having the same punch had another singer joined in on the track. That goes to show just how unique and perfect his vocals are.
Overall, I love this track. It is a fresh take on a classic song that has colored summer fun since 1966. YYY ran the risk of creating another boring cover album, but he and the other associated artists came out on top with a fun and haunting rendition that honored the original without being stiff. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is a fantastic cover that I would suggest to anyone, especially those with an open mind. I look forward to seeing YYY’s career grow as time goes on, as I think he has a fresh, original eye for music that keeps wonder and fascination alive.