As each song starts and stops, you can hear the smooth fuzz of the tape. The rudimentary technology affords Amundson’s music a deeper vulnerability that easily complements his style and feels as though you’re leafing through the worn pages of a diary. Through the simplicity in production, the bare poetry of Rivulets’ sound and lyrics is able to thrive.
Yearlings begins with “No Rest,” featuring vocals only, to put Amundson’s trembling voice on stark display. An acoustic guitar joins his singing for the remainder of the EP, acting more as a foundation for his words than the instrument that carries the music. Ragged strings introduce each song before Amundson comes in to sing lovelorn atop it. His lyrics are the focal point, and reach their loveliest on the album’s longest track, “Bordeaux”: “You’re so beautiful, it breaks my fucking heart,” he laments in the voice of a man who’s been left to chill on ice, lips blue and blood thickened. The EP is a succinct reminder that Amundson writes music requiring little interpretation, cut-and-dried for easy consumption and forgoing ambiguity for direct candor.