How many 29-year-old bands are still making good music? Not many.

Of those, how many are still producing music that’s relevant, not an imitative shadow of their early work or a dreaded “back to our roots” boring rock ‘n’ roll album? Even fewer.

Yo La Tengo have accomplished this time and again, but that’s only part of what makes Fade such an impressive album.

Beginning with a subtle mix of layered rhythms and soft guitars before a driving, repetitive riff cracks through, album opener “Ohm” is a standout track.

By its conclusion, a multitude of guitars, falsetto vocals, and monotonous beats combine to create a blissful little indie rock dream.

While the enjoyment of the sugary pop sounds on “Is That Enough” and “Well You Better” might be dependent on the listeners’ mood, there is something to be said for the former’s lush string arrangements and heart-on-its-sleeve sentiment.

Contrasting much of the New Jersey trio’s earlier work, Fade is a relatively direct record; there are fewer long instrumental breaks, and those that are present tend to have a very clear purpose.

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Through the second half of the LP, much of the noise of previous tracks is left behind in favour of more gentle sounds.

“I’ll Be Around” is stark, featuring little more than acoustic guitar and pulsing bass, “Cornelia and Jane” feels like a deep but mellow ocean.

Closer “Before We Run” summarises the album perfectly, featuring the hard-beaten drums and layered guitars of its noisier tracks, the easy and honest vocals of its poppier tunes and the orchestrated strings and horns that weave throughout the record.

Fade is a terrifically written record, and one many young indie bands could learn a thing or two from.

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