Why? shares third movement from new visual album and announces tour dates.
WHY?, the creative moniker for consummate wordsmith and beloved songwriter Yoni Wolf, is excited to announce AOKOHIO, a visual album to be released on August 9, 2019 via Joyful Noise Recordings. Today, WHY? is sharing the album’s second three-song movement and accompanying visual, “III. Please take me home, I don’t belong here.,” which features focus track “High Dive.” The album’s entire visual element stars Emmy-winning actress Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and was directed by Sundance Dramatic Special Jury Award-winner Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.
The lead-up to AOKOHIO will follow the somewhat unconventional path of gradually revealing the entire album in playing sequence, each movement accompanied by its own visual element, from now until its August 9 release date. The visual component of the album is anchored by a continuing narrative, which will continue to take shape until the album is released.
AOKOHIO‘s themes of familial anxieties and nostalgia will be familiar to many, but few have attempted as clear-eyed and sincere a portrayal as Wolf has succeeded with here. Collaborators like Lala Lala’s Lillie West and both members of Sylvan Esso will no doubt come as welcome additions, both serving to bolster the unmistakable sound and vision on which WHY? has grown its legions of fans.
WHY? has also announced a run of North American headline tour dates with Anna Burch and Barrie, beginning on August 14 in Indianapolis, IN at Hi-Fi and concluding on September 22 in Chicago, IL at Thalia Hall. See below for the full list of currently-announced dates.
Yoni Wolf has spent the last two decades traveling the remote sonic terrain where hip-hop, rock, and electronic music meet. In that time he’s cultivated a unique sound, and a unique position as one of contemporary music’s most distinctive voices. Some of Yoni’s most compelling and critically-praised musical experiments have been issued under the moniker WHY? and his latest entry is no exception. On AOKOHIO Yoni condenses the essential elements of WHY? into a stunningly potent musical vision.
Co-produced by Yoni and his brother Josiah, AOKOHIO presents a rich palette of musical voices that emerge and disappear into a constantly shifting kaleidoscope of sound. “I wanted a wide variety of sounds. I didn’t want this album to sit in one sonic zone. I’ve always felt like too jagged of a person to be smooth in that way,” Yoni says. While the album features many notable guest contributors, from Lala Lala’s Lillie West, to Nick Sanborn and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso, the listener’s attention remains squarely directed on Yoni’s voice and vision. AOKOHIO finds Yoni rethinking fundamental aspects of his approach to creating and delivering his music. The album is presented as six movements comprised of two to four songs each, with some segments appearing as brief fragments that dissolve within seconds.
“When I started this project, I decided I needed to try a new approach in creating music and how I work,” Yoni reflects. “I wasn’t feeling the idea of going back in and making another ten or twelve song album. It felt arduous. It felt like too much. So I wanted to pare the process down and make it manageable. I thought, ‘Why don’t I make small five or six minute movements and finish up each movement before I move on to the next.’ That’s how I started approaching it. The whole process took over five years, I’d start working on something and set it aside for awhile. The earliest songs on this album started in 2013.“
As Yoni reimagined his approach to creating music, he also began thinking of new ways to share the music with his audience. “I initially wanted to release the music as I progressed through the project,” Yoni says. “When I finished a movement I wanted to put it up digitally on Bandcamp or Soundcloud. I just wanted to make little pieces of music and put them out there. But I had a call with my manager and the label and they said, ‘We can release stuff through time like that, but we want to do it properly.’ So the idea of the project changed after that, but it retained the integrity of working in movements. It’s definitely a very different way of working for me. I think it has yielded some interesting results.”
Aug 14 Hi-Fi w/Anna Burch, Indianapolis IN
Aug 15 Pyramid Scheme w/Anna Burch, Grand Rapids MI
Aug 16 Magic Stick w/Anna Burch, Detroit MI
Aug 17 Lee’s Palace w/Barrie, Toronto Canada
Aug 18 Le Ministere w/Barrie, Montreal Canada
Aug 20 Gateway City Arts w/Barrie, Holyoke MA
Aug 21 The Sinclair w/Barrie, Cambridge MA
Aug 23 Warsaw, Brooklyn NY
Aug 24 Union Transfer w/Barrie, Philadelphia PA
Aug 25 U Street Music Hall w/Barrie, Washington DC
Aug 26 Cat’s Cradle w/Barrie, Carrboro NC
Aug 28 Terminal West w/Barrie, Atlanta GA
Aug 29 The Abbey w/Barrie, Orlando FL
Aug 30 Vinyl Music Hall w/Barrie, Pensacola FL
Aug 31 White Oak Music Hall w/Barrie, Houston TX
Sep 01 Trees w/Barrie, Dallas TX
Sep 03 Mohawk Austin w/Barrie, Austin TX
Sep 04 Opolis w/Barrie, Norman OK
Sep 05 Meow Wolf w/Barrie GO DARK, Santa Fe NM
Sep 06 Crescent Ballroom w/Barrie, Phoenix AZ
Sep 07 Teragram Ballroom w/Barrie, Los Angeles CA
Sep 08 Constellation Room w/Barrie, Santa Ana CA
Sep 10 Strummer’s w/Barrie, Fresno CA
Sep 11 August Hall w/Barrie, San Francisco CA
Sep 13 Revolution Hall w/Barrie, Portland OR
Sep 14 Westward Music Festival, Vancouver Canada
Sep 15 Neumos w/Barrie, Seattle WA
Sep 17 Visual Arts Collective w/Barrie, Garden City ID
Sep 18 The Urban Lounge w/Barrie, Salt Lake City UT
Sep 19 Bluebird Theater w/Barrie, Denver CO
Sep 20 Waiting Room Lounge w/Barrie, Omaha NE
Sep 21 Fine Line Music Cafe w/Barrie, Minneapolis MN
Sep 22 Thalia Hall w/Barrie, Chicago IL