“But there’s a fortune to be had/From telling people you’re sad,” Bill Ryder-Jones sings on pensive opener “There’s Something on Your Mind.” As sardonic as that lyric is, the former Coral guitarist has said he writes better songs when he’s unhappy—and his solo career has been a compelling testament to that. After 2011’s If…, an orchestral score inspired by Italian novelist Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, he retired to his old bedroom in his mother’s house to record the hushed, soul-baring folk of 2013’s A Bad Wind Blows in My Heart before adding ’90s alt-rock to the palette for West Kirby County Primary in 2015. On Yawn, he kneads that mix into beautiful, expansive reflections on loss and regret. Softly struck drums and sighing cellos accompany hypnotically persistent guitar riffs as each track unfolds carefully and slowly—sorrow this unresolved takes time to express. His words are candid, occasionally barbed and witty: “I remember what we did and when/And the smell of your breath/And even all the names of your d*ckhead friends” (“Time Will Be the Only Saviour”). With his fractured whisper, Ryder-Jones draws you so intimately into his world that it’s startling to finally hear another voice glide into the background of “John.”

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