Where to begin when listening to the vast array of music that’s been released by Yes And No Band? Last year’s album Markers should do it, and She’s The One makes for a beautifully engaging, hypnotic opener.
Leading with an organic, ballad-like acoustic set-up, and sublime vocals that strike with a kind of Eels-esque subtlety and warmth, the song pours a certain poetic intimacy into the room. The verses intrigue in a refreshing way, offering a new look at love and the details surrounding it, and the hook offers a familiar, comforting, uplifting resolve. Brilliant songwriting, with a simple, nostalgic arrangement that’s easy to fall into.
As the album continues, we get to know the Yes And No Band sound a little more intensely. Try Harder injects a level of Americana, with rhythm and scene-setting, a faster pace and a folk-rock pulse of a beat.
I Do follows it and weaves around us a delicate, thoughtful ambiance and song, all the while holding close to these nineties-esque folk-pop tendencies and effective pop building blocks at the very same time. Gorgeously raspy, expressive and honest vocals, dictate a series of personal relations in an open and decidedly genuine way.
The title-track Markers is a definite highlight from the project, pairing simple guitar finger-picking with dreamlike synths, retro horns, and a mellow yet striking melody.
The song captivates intensely, not just for this Johnny Cash, Hurt-like emotional quietness and ache, but for the minimalist yet heartbreaking details that emerge lyrically.
It’s a song to lose yourself within, to contemplate loss amidst; to cry to. Beautifully immersive, and addictive in a way that prompts an immediate re-listen for the deep-thinkers or insomniacs out there.
King Of The Sea is a folk-country classic with a beautifully joyful core and a few contrasting images of darkness and uncertainty. Someday follows with an equal level of color and a strong sense of longing, dreams of the future and brighter days.
Another highlight from the Markers album is the song Bridges. The simple strum of an acoustic guitar, a simple drum line, a few harmonies, imagery, the nostalgia – the song takes you on a journey, and prompts you to confront your own head-space and desires, dreams, plans.
Beautiful flickers of Americana-solo-electric strengthen and intensify certain moments towards the ends of lines, reinforcing the easy sway of the hook. It’s a beautiful song, faultlessly performed and captured, but this is true of the entire album – an absolute pleasure to escape within for a while.
Yes And No Band have a certain endearing humility about their music, and indeed regarding their online presence. The songs mean something very real and powerful, which is clear, and the attention required to keep a career in music is obviously found a little further down their list of priorities. It’s a commendable quality, but can make the indie world a difficult one to navigate for the true artists. However, for the many fans who want to find real music, the sort that connects and is written purely from the need to be written – it’s out there, you can find it; and hopefully we can help. Enjoy.