New Music Review: Yukon Blonde
I have several friends and family with whom I share musical tastes. I won’t name them because that’s beside the point, plus I think they know who they are. I have to give them credit for exposing me to music that I probably wouldn’t have discovered on my own. Through these friends I have discovered great bands/artists such as Kings of Leon, (pre-Only By the Night album), Priestess, Electric Light Orchestra, Matt Mays & El Torpedo, Daniel Wesley (thanks to my lovely wife!), The Living End, MGMT, City & Colour, Wintersleep, Bruce Springsteen (I always knew Born to Run as a song, but never listened to the entire album, which I must recommend if you haven’t either. A must-have in any classic rock collection, in my opinion). This list could go on but you get the idea: I have discovered a lot of great music from friends’ recommendations that I would not have necessarily discovered on my own.
With all that being said, I would like to take this opportunity to do my first installment of New Music Review. I want to introduce to you a band that I have recently discovered by the name of Yukon Blonde. They are a local Vancouver band that, as far as I know, aren’t played on any local radio stations (please correct me if I’m wrong), which is a real shame. Their song “1000 Years” was featured as iTunes free download for the week earlier this year. I downloaded it because it was free (duh!) and listened to it, half expecting something lame, but was pleasantly surprised! As soon as the first note was plucked, my ears perked up and I listened intently. From there, the 3-part harmonies, great guitar line and 50’s shuffle beat carried the song through and I was hooked.
Now, if the 50’s feel is not your style, that’s quite alright because the rest of their self-titled album has everything from a 70’s rock feel (check out “Rather Be With You”, “Bride’s Song” and “Wind Blows” as good examples) to a newer 2000’s alt-rock feel à la Arcade Fire or My Morning Jacket (see “Trivial Fires” and “Ghosts On Film”). Even the closing track “Loyal Man” has it’s own style of intertwining the bands inspirations of these eras of music to bring something that’s flirting with Kings Of Leon’s tune “Arizona” during the verse to the melody and vocal harmonies of something from a Crosby, Stills and Nash album (or better) in the chorus. Just about every song has wonderful guitar work: great arpeggiation (plucking each string in a chord as opposed to strumming the full chord), some nice melodic runs and even a few nice solo’s that suit the songs wonderfully as opposed to just a barrage of blisteringly quick notes which wouldn’t fit in with their music.
As much as these songs bring back musical themes from the 60’s and 70’s, as well as the recent past, I can’t help but find this album so terribly refreshing! From start to finish, the album flows wonderfully and carries a really cool vibe throughout. You can purchase the album from the band’s website www.yukonblonde.com for $10 plus a $2 shipping charge. You can also buy the album off iTunes for $7.99 for 10 songs, which is a good deal, too! Oh, and don’t sample the CD off iTunes, the 30 seconds per song doesn’t do the album justice. There are a few songs on YouTube as well as on the band’s website, if you want to hear full songs prior to purchase.
DISCLAIMER: Again, since music is all a matter of taste and opinion, I know not everyone will enjoy this band as I have. I certainly won’t take it personally if you don’t enjoy it as I do, but I am interested to hear some feedback, and even if only one person enjoys the album and becomes a fan of the band, I’d be happy. Besides, this is the reason I started this blog, so check out Yukon Blonde and hopefully enjoy!