Growing up with Ocean Avenue in constant rotation in my stereo, Yellowcard have always held a special place in my heart. Seeing them on their headlining tour and on Warped Tour reminded me of all these memories.
Well, Southern Air is the accumulation of every Yellowcard release into one powerhouse of a record - think Paper Walls on steroids. There's a level of confidence here that is unmatched by any of their previous material. The opening track is everything we love about YC openers - huge chorus, massive build up, hooks galore.
This record just has it. It's easily the most…powerful and energetic record they've ever done - and I'm saying that after only a week of listening. Never thought they'd top Paper Walls, but Southern Air just feels huge, and it very well may with more listens. There's no other way to describe it.
The guest appearances all add different elements to the record, but the main thing I'm noticing here is how much more powerful the entire band sounds. Mackin's violin defines many moments, while the guitars and drums really affect the melody and mood of the songs - it's a full band effort in the best way yet. And Key has more confidence and power in his voice than ever before, as noted by how varied his range is this time around.
The album has addictive pop-punk tunes with gritty guitars, violin solos, songs that are more "pop" than anything YC have done, and a heartbreaking ballad - it has it all.
Simply put, this record is special. It could easily top Paper Walls as my favorite YC record, given time and experiences that tie memories to it.
August 14th isn't too far away, and Southern Air will surely be the soundtrack to most of our summers.