Some years back Why?’s lyricist and gravitational member, Yoni Wolf, wrote the track “Broken Crow” and surmised that life in the midwest is a slow death. After moving back to Ohio-via-San Francisco a few years ago, you can hear him fixate on a nostalgic impulse and what the return home means. Wolf tries something different with his first visual album AOKOHIO. It’s 19-tracks (14 of them being under the two minute mark) doused in literal imagery of old home video, hospital rooms and autumnal footage. There’s more of the pop/hip-hop blending, xylophones and heartbeat percussions he’s known for, and a leaning into lyrics that are often looking back, capturing the beautiful aching of life with deep mired longing for past relationships and past homes, all while exploring its themes in a format that upturns what the medium means to them, or what a musician is supposed to be producing.
Listeners will have to come out to see if Why? integrates the visual elements into their show, or how the band will choose to perform the collage of such short songs. In past tours they’ve ended shows with completely un-amplified versions of some of their classics, playing at the edge of the stage to a silent goosebump-riddled crowd. Regardless, this show has a high chance of being remembered, maybe even nostalgically.