Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Turning Down Water For Air

I think "pleasant" is the correct word to use when describing James Yuill. I listen to his new album (new to North America anyway), Turning Down Water for Air, and I just sort of blank out with a half smile on my face for the forty or so minute duration. It's acoustic guitars and synthesizers and soothing vocals and sweet lyrics and xylophones, and it's really just pleasant!

James Yuill - Left Handed Girl
(mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)
James Yuill - No Pins Allowed (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

It's being said that James Yuill is helping to coin "folktronica". A quick wikipedia search will tell you that it was a term first used by the British press earlier this decade to describe music that has elements of, well, folk and electronica d'ur! The genre is surprisingly digestible. Folktronica turns out to be much less obnoxious than the name implies.

In terms of Turning Down Water for Air, there was nothing "difficult" about listening to the album. James Yuill doesn't ask you to decipher any obscure metaphors. He doesn't ask you to jaw-drop over break-through melodies and he doesn't hint at how clever the folk-electronic fusion is. It's a great little reminder that music doesn't always have to compel- compel to weep, compel to party, compel to take down the government. Sometimes, you can actually just sit down and enjoy the music. With James Yuill, things are simple. Hear good music, enjoy good music, stick music on repeat. Thank goodness for simple!

But hey, maybe you're not into simple-simple, James Yuill is cool with that. Take this: his cover of Radiohead, just for the hell of it.

James Yuill - Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box
(Radiohead cover) (mp3) (iTunes)

No comments: