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Yot Club maintains the charm, but makes it bigger and bolder on “Rufus”


Yot Club, the project of New York via Nashville (via Mississippi) artist Ryan Kaiser, has garnered millions of streams on platforms like Spotify and TikTok through his endearing take on low-fi indie. Some may call it bedroom pop, a nod to the sound and aesthetic that has blown up over the last half-decade or so, with acts like Clairo bursting onto the mainstream.

It feels a bit lazy though to ascribe that description to Yot Club’s new album, Rufus. While there remains plenty of that charm that’s made Yot Club such a popular listen recently, Rufus pushes things forward. It’s chock-full of bold hooks and intimately crafted songwriting and wanders down enough paths sonically to keep the experience fresh throughout. While there’s plenty of sweet, jangly guitar pop on the record, Rufus as a whole packs an exciting punch in a variety of different ways.

Some tracks have an anthemic, spirited feel to them, like opener “Stuntman,” catchy hooks that’ll go over well live (“Nostalgia”), and blow it open, loud rock energy (“New Day”). The guitar work is strong throughout, and fluctuates between mellow and quick, like on standout “Fool”. It’s got a kind of surf rock, Dick Dale motion to it, which fits well with the frantic, breakneck nature of the song.

Kaiser does a great job of conveying big emotions with quick turns of phrases, like on “Nostalgia” (Nostalgia/It followed ya”), and his delivery makes it authentic. Lyrically, much of the record feels like Kaiser grappling with feeling out of touch with his surroundings, but pushing through nonetheless and maybe even finding out something about himself along the way. It makes the album feel like a journey and a ride, one that’ll entertain both Yot Club’s longtime fans and the many more that are sure to be coming along.

Rufus is an exciting step forward for Yot Club, one that shows Kaiser’s willingness to keep expanding his sound. It’ll be exciting to see where he can take things.

Cover image byAriel Fisher, courtesy of the artist

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