I suppose one could call Olden Yolk a spin-off from Quilt. I didn't really pick up on that until after I listened to the fine debut from Olden Yolk but, armed with that knowledge now, it makes a certain sense as the tunes here bear a slight resemblance to those of Shane Butler's other band. Still, the music on Olden Yolk, the band's debut album, out on Friday via Trouble in Mind, is superb whether or not you've heard the equally-fab Quilt recordings or not.
There's a real folk-y vibe here to some numbers, with offerings like "Cut to the Quick" and "Gamblers on a Dime" owing a real debt to pioneers in that genre from earlier generations. Still, on other cuts here, like the sublime "Vital Sign", Caity Shaffer takes over the singing duties and the end result resembles the music of Widowspeak and Quilt. Caity's quietly-soaring vocal performance here renders the track one of the real highlights of Olden Yolk. Elsewhere, "After Us" and "Verdant" stray into the sort of territory occupied by Broadcast and Mazzy Star. Still, to reference those other artists is not to diminish the significant charms of what's on offer here on Olden Yolk as the record truly is something special, the band's brand of folk-tinged indie something that is both catchy and accessible and also near-classicist in its approach to pop.
A really superb record, Olden Yolk is yet another excellent offering from the very reliable Trouble in Mind Records. Possessing a quiet grace, Olden Yolk is one of this week's very best releases. More details via the label site, or the band's official Facebook page.
[Photo: Daniel Dorsa]