Bill Ryder-Jones was a founding member of The Coral. He's also played with Arctic Monkeys and loads of other vital indie bands. However, he's likely going to be henceforth known for his own recordings, the latest of which, Yawn, drops on Domino on Friday.
A work of intimacy, the album is poetic and rueful in turn, with numbers like "Time Will Be The Only Saviour" swaying with a kind of melodic grace that suggests a lifetime spent listening to Leonard Cohen records, even as the more direct "And Then There's You" veering closer to territory occupied by Nick Cave in the Nineties. "Don't Be Scared, I Love You" swoons with a lovely bit of drunkenness, the tides of the composition every bit the equal of Ryder-Jones' Buckley-like way with a vocal-line. Now, you'll notice that I didn't say which Buckley I was referring to and an easy answer would be to say that I was talking about Jeff, since tracks like "Happy Song" and "Recover" swing with the sort of folk-power the late singer brought to his every performance. And yet, a compelling case could be made for a comparison to Tim Buckley as well, Ryder-Jones' way with this sort of lyrical approach suggesting an intuitive understanding that the worlds of the singer-songwriter and jazzman are not so far apart after all.
And while there are moments here ("There Are Worse Things") that will inevitably draw comparisons to Ed Harcourt, Bill Ryder-Jones' album stands entirely on its own, Yawn being such a stunning bit of business. A record that offers a dive into some serious emotional depths, Yawn enchants even as it stirs up something from the dark chasms of the soul. Serious but not heavy, Yawn is a great album.
Yawn will be out on Friday via Domino.
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