The What Have Yous hail from New York. They are a group of musicians who orbit around Zac Gannett who writes the songs and as much as that sounds like a "singer songwriter" situation the compositions would not take shape without the help of guitarist Diwas Gurung (of the band Photoreal) and singer Ceren Yasaruglu. Gannett's latest concept, his imaginings realized is "Kristy" whose title character is struggling to navigate through her life.
The What Have Yours blend styles and maybe even eras so you have to have more than an open mind to not feel like you are time traveling all over the place. Take the opening track Dooba Dooba which opens with an almost Do Wop meets hippie garden folk rock feel and then descends into a heavier feel with blues rock influences and then goes a bit psychedelic. There is something about the sound that feels like the alt country / psychedelic pop of a band like Beachwood Sparks. I felt this sandy toke feel on the song Big Short and Any Little Thing which made me think of drives up the northern California coast up through Big Sur.
In conclusion, "Kristy" feels uniquely different. That can be a blessing and a curse. The What Have Yous sound alt country with post modern influences as well as psychedelic / garden rock / indie rock over and undertones isn't your everyday fare. Zac's songs and his vocal performance are engaging. Vocally I thought of Wade Ryff and Lindsey Buckingham and even Father John Misty for some reason and his voice blends well with Ceren's more straight folk approach. Diwas Gurung's guitar work is wonderfully nuanced in the mellow and harder moments. I do feel adamant about one thing, I think the album (in today's landscape) works much better if you listen to it in reverse. Not like reverse as in back masking but as in last song being the first track and then descending down in reverse order. While doing so may change Zac's vision, I think it would feel more accessible to the most people. I think it would immediately pull in a more of an open minded indie audience. I also think that Zac should get some of these songs to film makers. They are those kind of songs, ones that create imagery and trade in story telling for transparent pop hooks.