Articles tagged with Yukon Blonde

Yukon Blonde – “Stairway”

Yukon Blonde
Yukon Blonde‘s new album, Tiger Talk, is totally banging. Case in point: lead single “Stairway,” which rocks hard and contains some ridiculously catchy falsetto harmonies.

A while back, I wrote an Exclaim! list about the most anticipated upcoming Canadian releases of 2012, and this one made the cut. Obviously.


 
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Yukon Blonde – “Water”

Yukon Blonde
Moving is the worst, but for some reason I have decided to do it five times in the last two years. Oh well.

This ought to ease the stress of yet another move. It’s the harmony-laden rocker “Water” by Yukon Blonde, the second sort-of title track from the new Fire//Water EP. Watch the video below, and don’t be surprised if you start feeling slightly thirsty. I interviewed the band for Exclaim! and reviewed the EP for the Georgia Straight.


 
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Setting fire to the ocean

Riffing on Pollock
In recent weeks, I’ve heard some rumblings that a new Yukon Blonde album was on the way. Those rumours have been confirmed by the announcement of a new EP, Fire//Water, due out Septeber 20 via Nevado. A full-length will follow in 2012.

Here’s the kind-of title track, “Fire.” Long live vocal harmonies and the 1970s. This sounds a lot like the band’s past work, which is a good thing.

A while back I reviewed Yukon Blonde’s live show for Exclaim!, when the band opened for Plants & Animals and totally blew the headliners away.

The photo in the sidebar was taken by Alex Cairncross.


 
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Water running down into the waterways

Unfortunately, the band photo shoot fell on laundry day
“Wind Blows” isn’t the best song on Yukon Blonde‘s self-titled album, but it’s probably the catchiest. The chorus is a repetitive chant of “Wind blows / Can you hear the wind blow? / Listen to the raindrops / Outside of my window,” its cyclical melody sounding almost as if was pulled out of a nursery rhyme. With its mix of acoustic strumming, reverb-y surf leads and lush harmonies, it resembles a ’60s-infused take on Fleet Foxes‘ pastoral folk rock.

The album is the Vancouver band’s first full-length, and it drops next week (February 9) via Nevado. In the meantime, you can pick up the group’s EP Everything in Everyway, which I reviewed a while back for the Georgia Straight.

MP3: “Wind Blows”
 
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Yukon Blonde makes its mark

Yukon Blonde - Everything in Everyway
After toiling for three years in relative obscurity under the name AlphaBaby, the four members of Yukon Blonde chose a new name and relocated from Kelowna to Vancouver. If their goal was to make a name for themselves in the big city, they’re well on their way—as well as delivering an exhilarating live show, the band’s debut EP, Everything in Everyway, is an infectious collection of psychedelic rock and lush, pastoral folk.

The a cappella harmonies that introduce opening track “Streets” evoke the haunting group vocals of Fleet Foxes. Although the rest of the song is a little more upbeat than the beginning might lead you to expect, the moody intro sets the tone for the rest of the EP. Yukon Blonde may be a rock band, but it relies on delicate arrangements and careful orchestration rather than bombastic, riff-heavy fireworks.

mp3: “Streets”

“Tapes Forever Be Tapes” begins with a drum-and-bass groove, fleshed out by disorienting atmospherics–it’s probably a guitar, but it could just as easily be a synthesizer or even a violin. Later, acoustic guitars enter, giving the song a California folk rock vibe that evokes CSNY. “Free Your Mind” is the standout of the disc, hypnotic bass octaves providing the backdrop for Revolver-esque chord changes and charmingly drug-addled philosophizing.

Closing track “Nico Canmore” scales things back, beginning as a mid-tempo ballad with cavernous guitars and distant, harmonized vocals. Halfway through, however, it erupts into a guitar jam that’s the closest the EP gets to replicating the group’s exhilarating live show. With an LP due out in early 2010, this last track suggests Yukon Blonde’s potential to deliver a gritty rock album. For the meantime, however, the band’s rich psychedelic folk is reason enough to get excited.

Everything is Everyway is out October 6 via Nevado.
 
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Rah Rah @ the WISE Hall, 9/17/09

Rah Rah
When Rah Rah is on top form, the group’s live show is a revelation. Unfortunately, last night at the WISE Hall, the six-piece battled muddy sound and a persistent, annoying feedback buzz from the PA. The band members seemed understandably thrown off by the technical difficulties, as the show didn’t have the same euphoric energy as when I saw the group a few months back.

Despite a lackluster start, the mood picked up a few songs in with the propulsive boroque rocker “Betrayal Pt. 1,” its thundering rhythm section and wailing violin evoking the swirling grandeur of Arcade Fire. A few songs later, multi-instrumentalist Erin Passmore took over lead vocals for “Duet for Emmylou and the Grievous Angel,” a gorgeous, countrified tribute to the band’s hometown of Regina.

The set ended with a series of new songs, one of which featured a party canon wielded by violinist/accordionist Kristina Hedlund. As she sprayed confetti into the crowd, it was an instant of pure, unrestrained joy. Although such moments were in shorter supply than usual, the musicians still earned a chant of “Rah Rah! Rah Rah!” as they filed off the stage.

The show was stolen by the opener, psychedelic rock four-piece Yukon Blonde. The group recently relocated to Vancouver from Kelowna, and this performance was the band’s first on a six week cross-Canada tour. Clad in all white, the band members tore through a brief but memorable set of gritty dual guitar jams and melodic California folk rock (think CSNY or the Byrds). The guitars crunched and jangled in equal measure, and the three-part vocal harmonies were pure Summer of Love. With a brand new EP just released and a LP on the way next year, look for Yukon Blonde’s profile to rise over the next few months.

Also on the bill was Red Cedar, who delivered a solid set of southern-fried rock. Drawing on the whiskey-soaked jams of My Morning Jacket as well as Rust Never Sleeps-era Neil Young, the band delivered a satisfyingly raucous performance, although you had to ignore the bassist’s ridiculous facial expressions in order to enjoy it.
 

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