Wolf Parade – “Yulia”
June 27, 2010, 1:31 pm
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After I had listened to the first two officially released mp3’s from Expo 86 (“What Did My Love Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)” & “Ghost Pressure”) a few times, I experienced a sinking feeling of impending disappointment.  They aren’t bad songs by any means, but they didn’t give me any sort of anticipatory glee for Expo 86.  Thankfully, they turned out to be exceptions and not the rule: Expo 86 is a marvelous album.

“Yulia” is its crown jewel and the best thing Dan Boeckner has written for Wolf Parade since “This Heart’s On Fire”.  Carrying over his love of Russia from the Handsome Furs, he tells the tale of a cosmonaut lost in space.  The song’s unnamed protagonist deals with the crushing realizations that he is going to die alone in space, will never see the woman he loves again and his only hope is that he won’t be forgotten.

I’m standing here, drifting alone
And my heart beats slow
And I hope they bring my body back, Yulia

So when they turn the cameras on you
Baby, please still speak for me
Turn up to the dark above you
As they edit me from history

This is heartbreaking shit, people, and the lyrics would probably be even more crushing if the band wasn’t playing it as a triumphant surge that balances its martial pulse with a celestial sweep.  To top it off, Boeckner wails the coda “There’s nothing out here/nothing out here/nothing out here” with enough dire conviction to turn your skin into braille.

Expo 86 is out 6/29 via Sub Pop.

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