Self-released • 2023

Üs’s self-titled colourful and catchy album is a gift that keeps on giving the more attention you give it.

Sometimes, it pays to pay attention, especially when it comes to your social media feed. Let me explain: I’ve been following @blob_communications on Instagram since first being turned on to the work of psych-pop purveyors Mr. Joy and their (so far) one-off self-titled collaboration with Matthew “Doc” Dunn under the name Dr. Joy. 

Mr. Joy’s online activities have been pretty quiet since 2021, but as the holidays were starting last month, blob blabbed that he and Mr. Joy’s drummer, Asher Gould-Murtagh, had surprise-dropped a self-titled album under the name Üs, which also featured vocals from Julia Wittmann (Bug Crusher, Dilettant, Breeze) on four of the record’s nine songs. 

The announcement might have otherwise slipped my attention if it weren’t for the album’s fetching (and somewhat gaudy) orange and blue cover art. That was enough to make me want to dig a little deeper into what exactly Üs had going on, and I’m so glad I did. 

Like their work with Mr. Joy, blob and Gould-Murtagh know how to bring fuzzy, feel-good vibes to songs like opener “Star, Explode.” Its solid bass groove and drumming set the stage for a hazy, psychedelic melody punctuated by sonar blips and celestial blasts. The mostly instrumental “Disintegration” circles a playfully disjointed melody before collapsing in on itself as it ushers in the skittering beat and acoustic strumming of “Don’t Say.”

Wittmann’s wispy vocals add a new texture to “Play Again,” and the playfully summery “How Long.” “It’s been a while since I saw you,” sings blob at the song’s opening, a sentiment that kept recurring to me as I listened to Üs’s colourful and catchy album. Üs is a gift that keeps on giving the more attention you give it.

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Michael Peter Olsen 
Narrative of a Nervous System