“I Don’t Think She Knows” – YAST

Equal parts noise and melody, “I Don’t Think She Knows” is an awesome slice of 21st-century rock’n’roll, from a land (Sweden) that hasn’t given up on the genre quite as much as we have here, alas. But with this kind of thing still crossing the border, I can yet find my happy place—until, at least, a future president sees fit to seal everything and everyone out and all of us left here just end up shouting each other to death. Did I say shouting? I meant shooting. Or, better, shouting and shooting: that’s the American way.

But I digress. And present “I Don’t Think She Knows” as the kind of song that can (maybe) take your mind off the parade of unmitigated lunacy currently passing as normal here in the ever-amazing (not necessarily meant in a good way) United States. Launched off a yearning, fuzzed-out two-note guitar riff, scuffed up by noise and reverb, “I Don’t Think She Knows” succeeds with a lovely, minor-key verse melody, a wordless chorus, stellar guitar work, and a healthy dose of impenetrable commotion. That juxtaposition of identifiable guitar lines and blurry hubbub is, to my ears, one of the things that gives the song its sharp appeal. And don’t lose sight of the nimble bass line either; even when all hell breaks loose (e.g., 3:06), the bass keeps us grounded structurally and sonically. We know we’re in a pop song, which every now and then is still a good place to be. Especially when the shouting and shooting starts.

YAST was formed by three musicians from the Swedish city of Sandviken in 2007, and became a quintet after moving to Malmö for its more music-oriented culture (although the two new members were also, as luck would have it, from Sandviken). The band released its first single in 2012, its first album in 2013, and a second album in September 2015, called My Dreams Did Finally Come True, which is where you’ll find this song. If you want a higher-quality .wav file, visit Adrian Recordings on SoundCloud.