Movement in a Storm (2010)
*I Proud To Recommended!!!*
Summery 80s synths abound all over this ductile carpet of an album. James Yuill has clearly been spending a fair bit of time in a blissed-out state on beaches across the Med since his last effort, 2008’s critically acclaimed Turning Down Water For Air, which placed him firmly at the vanguard of the folktronica movement.
First In Line is a fantastic slice of chunky disco in the mould of classic Saint Etienne, meaning that there’s just the slightest trace of melancholy in Yuill’s adroit tones as he softly tells us when the “sea starts, it’s life”. On Your Own sees the beats turned up to something approaching Calvin Harris territory, but Yuill’s tender voice succeeds in trampling any outright big-beat aggression contained within the track down into something infinitely more touching and vulnerable. It’s as if, despite the sweaty vibes of an endless summer night of clubbing, there’s always knowledge of the weary daybreak that is sure to follow.
This hedonism is broken up with slices of bonfire folk. Foreign Shore has a wonderfully creaking concertina effect in places as Yuill, whose voice takes on a pleasantly throaty drawl, warns us of an unwanted guest wading in from the deep waters; someone who “is known, known by law, to be a traitor from a foreign shore”.
Some listeners may feel Yuill has attempted to cram too many disparate styles into one relatively short album. And it’s true that the rapid alteration in styles, from pounding electro to hushed acoustic instrumentals, shouldn’t work. But like an old mixtape from a friend, made in the pre-iPod era, the stylistic judder between tracks only renders Yuill’s precociousness ever more endearing. Beach parties in 2010, from the soaring highs to the migraine-induced aftermath, won’t get a better soundtrack than this.
Like many music lovers of his generation James Yuill has a passion for both the emotional songwriting and atmospheres of artists such as Nick Drake, Radiohead and Sufjan Stevens and the visceral beats and dynamic rhythms of Justice, Chemical Brothers and Aphex Twin. Unlike anyone else however, James has fused these seemingly disparate influences into a magical sound of his very own, something that didn't go un-noticed by radio, with DJs including Huw Stephens, Colin Murray and John Kennedy all championing him on air.
A hectic live schedule, taking in SxSW in Texas, Radio One's Big Weekend in Kent and many points in-between, has certainly added to the tangible buzz around James Yuill. Seeing James live is a truly unique experience: one minute you're drawn in to the tender simplicity of his voice and acoustic guitar, the next minute your head's spinning and your feet are moving to the dazzling array of beats and effects pumped out by James's laptop and boxes of tricks - not bad for a one man show that fits neatly into a reconditioned guitar case.
'No Pins Allowed' is James Yuill at his masterful best. Combining tightly worked songwriting with some caustic beat science, this is a sonically challenging yet emotionally engaging song that provides the perfect appetiser for James's forthcoming album. Also included on the package are a cover of Radiohead's 'Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box' - a live favourite - and the sparse and delicate 'Breathing In'.
James Yuill has a busy Summer ahead with shows at a number of the more exciting festivals including Latitude and Secret Garden Party. Come and see what all the fuss is about at one of the dates over the page.
1. No Pins Allowed
2. Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box
3. Breathing In
Fort more on James Yuill go to:
Lastly, In Mr. Jayplace's car bring me back home I heard an excellent song by British musician James Yuill. It happened to be a remix by Rod Thomas. Well, turns out Rod Thomas and James Yuill collaborate quite a bit. They remix each others' stuff and even sing together.
Well, I'm confused by something. What I can't figure out is when or if James Yuill's latest album, Turning Down Water for Air, has been released in the U.S. He self-released it in 2007 and it came out on Moshi Moshi records in the U.K. in 2008. It's available on Amazon.com in their mp3 department, but only to U.S. customers. The CD is still listed as an import. Anyhoo, this is a case of "it's new to me and might not be to you, but you should listen to it anyway."And regardless of when or if it's been released in the States, James is a wonderful musician. He's has a lovely voice and he does something that I adore, which is to combine acoustic and electronic sounds. I guess you'd call him folktronica, but with an emphasis on the "tronica," if that makes sense. His music is sweet and rather sad but at the same time you can dance to it. The following songs are available on his website.
Excellent as well!