Yellerkin is a hot new duo out of Brooklyn championing boisterous sunshine pop that straddles the line between indie rock and electronica. Their debut EP was released earlier this year and they've been making moves ever since. Tonight they're stopping in at DC9 with People Get Ready, and we we lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with them about touring, their new EP, and their favorite Mariah Carey song. Check it out below and make sure to check them out tonihgt if you're in the DC area! What’s your most memorable city you've played in been?
I think we would have to say Austin TX. It was our first time at SXSW and it was kind of a last minute opportunity and we were psyched as hell to be playing on the same bill as High High's, Oberhofer, and Kishi Bashi…kind of unreal. SXSW was just kind of a surreal experience for us having just started playing live in January. We had a blast and because we share band members with Tei Shi, we had a packed week of amazing shows and an amazing chill time. We played some mini-gol, we ate lots of barbecue and we probably won't forget it.
Have you been hitting the festival circuit this summer?
kind of but nooooottt reeaalllyyy…we have been working on our second EP for most of this summer. I mean our first EP was received well and you guys like it so that's dope, but we haven't hit our mark. We have been so amazingly blown away by the reception our first release had, but we want our second EP to be the kind of shovel that we use to carve out our own niche in this crazy music world. There is so much out there, and a lot of it is really good, and a lot of it is really bad, and we don't really want to be either. It all begins to sound like sound after a while and we want people to think of Yellerkin as a feeling, as a kind of state that you find yourself in in times of intense visceral emotion--the kind of emotions that move you to action, that affect your body and your vision.
How has the change with moving to Brooklyn affected you?
its just a different community. I mean we still make music in Luca's bedroom, that hasn't changed. I guess the real change is in the access we have to such a huge community of artists and musicians in NY/Brooklyn. That can also be a downside, the amount of white noise so much art creates can be deafening in Brooklyn sometimes, but you have to always be exposing yourself to everything and honestly 80% will be trash, but man you'll find some gold and it will really truly resonate with you and then you guys find out you know that dude! But honestly I don't know how much we represent Brooklyn. I mean we live there because its cheaper than Manhattan and there are a lot of cool venues but besides that we're just country boys that are kind of stuck here for the time being cause that's where the music is. Hopefully we will return to the woods when we can.
The Ep is really awesome and very diverse. You can hear influences from Neutral Milk Hotel to 60s pop harmonies and more modern sounds like Youth Lagoon. Who do you consider your biggest influences?
I mean this is the deal we get this question a lot and we listen to everything, I feel really inspired by Nas as a vocalist and Luca learned how to play guitar listening to old blues and we both die for Radiohead and we can get down with some good pre-civil war folk tunes. We really appreciate everything, whats honest and sincere will come across, you can't fake that shit. You know when they do and it sucks. We're inspired by the things that happen to us and the people that move in and out of our lives. We'll write on anything, music is more of a way of exploring something for us, whatever that may end up sounding like.
How do you balance the electronic influences with more acoustic sounds while writing?
Well we usually write on more conventional instruments, Luca writes on guitar and piano, I write on Banjo and the electronic elements are introduced when we add a structure and body to these concepts we create on acoustics. There is a tendency for electronic music to be become slightly disembodied, and we rely on the combination of electronic and acoustic elements to provide a foundation from which we can explode. All the songs on the new EP we have just finished are songs that have been built up and ripped apart 3 or 4 times. There is a constant tension that we are negotiating between the real and the unreal and that plays out sonically as a repetitive morphing of parts and melodies and instruments until we strike the ideal balance, a kind of ordered chaos.
How did you end up hooking up with Teen Daze?
We have always been huge fans of his and when the EP came out we asked him if he was interested in remixing the track and he was and BOOM!
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What’s next on the horizon for Yellerkin?
NEW EP NEW EP NEW EP…we don't know what its called yet but its happening. We're playing some summer dates including this one (today) in DC with People Get Ready and then one in Boston with Miniature Tigers and then one with Nick Hakim in Brooklyn etc. SOOO come party and yell and get glorious.
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What are 5 songs you couldn’t live without?
Mariah Carey - I Can't Live Without You
Charlie Wilson - Can't Live Without You
Adrian Sina feat. Beverlie Brown - I Cant Live Without You
Air Supply - Can't Live Without You
Queen - I Can't Live With You