Olden Yolk - Olden Yolk - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Olden Yolk - Olden Yolk

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2018-02-23
Olden Yolk - Olden Yolk
Olden Yolk - Olden Yolk

These days with such a musical glut, online or otherwise, it could be a miracle for a music fan to pick up on this debut album by the New York City duo-cum-quartet. And then, who or what is Olden Yolk? That certainly won’t help much. Even if you are an ardent follower of the current indie psychedelic scene and are familiar with the names of bands like Quilt and Woods, that does not necessarily mean you’ll go for it. Even more so, a rare few would be attracted to the tag of dystopian folk combined with the sound of German Krautrock giants Can. But, they should!

Shane Butler of Quilt and City Shafer, his main partner and co-vocalist here, along with guitarist Jesse DeFrancesco and drummer Dan Drohan with producer Jarvis Taveniere of Woods have come up with something really interesting on this debut.

A possible good sign could have been the fact that they have been working on this one since 2012, and their lip service to folky sounds and Can is not just lip service. They were actually able to combine gentle dual vocals and tricky acoustic and electric guitar sounds with some propulsive rhythmic patterns (“Cut To The Quick”, “Common Ground”, “Takes One To Know One”). Of course the obvious NYC connection ties in the touches of The Velvets and The Feelies (not NYC, but just across the river in New Jersey).

The range of sounds is quite diverse and is littered with subtle twists and turns, and ranges from the gentle dual vocals and electric guitar of the introductory “Verdant”, very psych-folk mood of “Hen’s Teeth”, to the quite propulsive rhythms of “Common Ground”. A touch of Serge Gainsbourg memory on “Espirit De Corps”, and Shafer's multitracked vocals on "After Us" that range between angelic and spooky help too. While you listen, you don’t get the impression that anything within the band’s sound dominates over the other, but it slowly becomes obvious that the dual vocal synergy between Butler and Shafer is that one element that ties everything into a cohesive sound that beckons repeated listening. An extremely promising debut.

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