After the triumph that was 2005's Elephant Eyelash, Yoni Wolf emerges with a sneaky EP to wet our appetites ahead of next years Alopecia. The Hollows EP is basically a a collection of remixes and covers by the likes of Boards Of Canada, Xiu Xiu, Dntel, Half Handed Cloud and members of Yo La Tengo.
The title track is the only new song on this record and it seems to be finishing off Why?'s gradual transformation from his hip hop associations to the indie rock sound this band have been gravitating towards for some time. Why?'s hip hop links have always been tenuous due to Wolf's sing song rap style and his work with the Anticon collective has been the perfect environment to expand on this. The Hollows is an awesome taster for things to come with Wolf's vocals emerging front and centre and the rock influence moving into full effect.
Strangely enough there's two remixes here of forthcoming tracks of the Alopecia album. Boards Of Canada's remix of Good Friday is a stripped down, head nodding reconstruction that levels out the background to give Wolf's voice the intimate closeness it deserves while Dntel's re-imagining of By Torpedo Or Crohn's provides Wolf's more hip hop delivery with a soft techno lift off. Elephant Eyelash's Yoyo Bye Bye is a popular choice with versions by Xiu Xiu and Dump (James McNew of Yo La Tengo) and the whole thing ends with Islands' Nick T's cover of Wolf's previous Anticon project Reaching Quiet.
The upshot of this EP is that Why?'s 'anything goes' policy has obviously inspired this fine collection of artists to stretch their wings and together they've created material that is as good if not better than any of their own work. Having heard the remixes I'm pretty confident that next March will see the release of one of the albums of the year.