Friday 14 February 2014

Yellerkin - Yellerkin EP

EP review by

In the last few months we've been deliberately trying to avoid singer-songwriters whose music is based around just a voice and an acoustic guitar, and we've also been avoiding indie-folk, folk-rock and country-influenced acoustic or semi-acoustic music. It's all gone too far and everyone is just going round in circles. To put it bluntly, we're sick of our inbox being full of Jake Bugg and Mumford & Sons clones. We're not keen on those artists themselves, so a watered-down version definitely won't cut it. Please move on. This was once called The New Acoustic Movement, and it represented a lull in guitar music that lasted until The Strokes, The White Stripes and The Libertines came along and blew them all away. We mention this because Yellerkin have a slight folky aspect to their form of indie, but they're not formulaic or pretentious with it, plus they incorporate electronic sounds and plenty of unusual effects into these songs. So if you have bought an acoustic guitar and now think you're the new Bob Dylan then forget it. Get some mates and make something more interesting, you'll do far better.

This New York duo begin with 'Solar Laws' which is something like harmonious alt-country but with actual drive. The vocals will perhaps remind you of The Postal Service, and sometimes the music isn't far off either. When the song breaks and those voices shine through it captures a '70s spirit, but with the sound of modern indie music. This shuffles along with lots of different textures intertwining; it's a great way of combining a variety of sounds. The opt for something less hectic for 'Leave Me Be', and here the electronic side of what they do comes to the fore. It's both pretty and sad and is the kind of song that could be a big hit if it got the right kind of exposure. Someone could easily pick this up for a film or TV show. The twin voices on 'Tomboy' are nice and could also lead to commercial success. Really it depends where the band want to go. They could continue down this experimental alt-pop path (our choice) or become the next Owl City (their bank manager's choice). The stark intro to 'Vines' gradually caves in to musical clutter that seems to arrange itself around the song and make it much more interesting than it could have been, and this only reinforces our choice of next step for the pair. Time will tell...

Yellerkin's website

Buy the EP

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