Olden Yolk / Hy-Brasil Music Club, Bristol | 26th of March

Olden Yolk / Hy-Brasil Music Club, Bristol | 26th of March

On Monday, 26th March 2018, I arrived in Bristol early for the gig on the Monday before the Easter bank holiday. Slightly disorientated from my sleepy train ride, I found myself sat on a bench, in Queen’s Park, listening to Boards of Canada and marveling at the vibrancy of Bristol: its colour, its glowing healthy air and aesthetic. Bristol is a place where modern ideas and antiquated architecture meet with a result of metropolitan exhilarating pulse.

This was a good introduction in trying to understand its the milieu that Olden Yolk was germinated/born/created; why have this Greenwich germinated band found a home in Bristol? Every artist has something to express, and as the chronic inquisitive history geek, I always have the understand the background source information that could tell me more about the evolved product. For example, I am the type of person that finds the Massive Attack /Banksy conspiracy theory incredibly fascinating. I wonder how Bristol was going to influence Olden Yolk’s sound and aesthetic.

Olden Yolk’s Cut to the Quick has the American dream cheerful chord sequenced chorus; this blended with some breathy smart lyrical layering leaves the listener breathless with pseydo dynamic joy. Reminiscent of long hazy summers, this could have been the principal sound track for the film Call Me by Your Name. Takes One to Know One takes me back to to the dusty landscape of barren but bustling landscapes of the American South. The noise that I would imagine the jungle of New Orleans or the deserts of Nevada. Listening to it live the acoustics of HY Brasil Music Club lend a wholesome tone to the acoustic and electric guitar skeleton edifice of the song.

Olden Yolk had no sheets of music I front of him; this guy was going off muscle memory alone. And he does it well. It means that every strum has meaning, is raw with emotion that changes with every performance. It was rehearsed excellence. It was an arrogant, explicitly beautiful piece of improvising. He was just lulling the audience into joining him while he jams his heart out. His was crooning his gorgeous song Verdant, like electric shock waves through the venue. The clean exhibitionist tone of the club was the perfect showcase for Olsen Yolk to perform, the refreshingly unique couple buoying fresh and vibrant sounds: explosions of colour, music, chords. Crisp melodies structuring chorus chord driven lyrics. Poetry of lyrics: the passion with how the performers projected their songs was raw and emotive. It felt very personalised and yet my reaction was shared by my surrounding crowd, of about 100 people.

I agree with what Madison Deasler wrote for the Paste Magazine in the February. He said that listening to Olden Yolk, had the overall effect of being confusingly familiar but totally new. I wholly relate to this statement; I too felt that paradoxically baffling sense of feeling of a strange form of nostalgia; that was however, mixed with something close to sheer euphoria of hearing something completely new. It sounds too contradictory to be true: but it is a fact. Think of how The Cure captured beautiful that incongruous sense of being happy say; Olden Yolk does the same but with the sounding original and derivative. Wonderful song writers this American couple are. They are more than angsty to fill the angst of the millennial snowflake generation; but with enough substance to keep the technologically minded, self educated, listening market enraptured. Just looking around at the 50 crowd strong audience is a testament to Olden Yolk’s ability to appeal to the refined music listeners. I should also mention here that this gig was free: a rarity for good quality gig experience in the rest of the country.

With the intricate strumming, in the same sound of Sufan Stevens: Olen Yolk delivers his simplistic tunes with the same kind of confident conveyance. Driven with emotive lyrics, his singular voice does’ not falter, weaving in and out of the guitar riffs.


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