Photo Credit Iona Wolff
yllwshrk – “Northern Soul”
The new single – out today (via EOA Recordings)
From ‘I AM ALADDIN’ – the debut album, released October 16th 2020
Also includes previous single “Pyramids”
“A bold, sprawling extravaganza of rich textures, lush arrangements and intense emotion. Think the sonic soundscapes of Radiohead meet the angular rock impetus of Editors and the creative genius of Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ album, and you’ll be somewhere sonically close.” (Record Of The Day)
“Northern Soul” is the epic new single from yllwshrk, a thrillingly original new Anglo-Scottish band who fuse alt-rock and modern classical music. The third track to be lifted from yllwshrk’s debut album I AM ALADDIN – due October 16th (on EOA Recordings) “Northern Soul” features renowned contemporary composer/musician Linda Buckley.
Hailing from both sides of Hadrian’s Wall, members of yllwshrk have appeared on albums by Radiohead, Frank Ocean, and Foals as members of the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO). They have performed live with artists such as Little Simz, Goldfrapp, Ry X, Eric Clapton, Deltron 3030 and Elbow, as well as regularly giving classical chamber music recitals across the UK & Europe and performing and recording with many of the UK’s leading orchestras.
The core individual behind yllwshrk is composer and guitarist Ian Anderson, who cites the likes of Mahler and Prokofiev as influences as well as groundbreaking contemporary artists such as Björk and Radiohead. It follows that there’s a strangeness to yllwshrk’s music, an implacable bizarreness to its quality which perfectly complements the subject that the songs tackle. If someone wrote a musical based on ‘Black Mirror’ you’d start to come close to what the yllwshrk concept is. In fact, “Northern Soul” itself was inspired by what could be a Black Mirror storyline;
“There is a conspiracy theory that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 to be secretly replaced by lookalike William Campbell,” comments Anderson of the track. “Strangely, and rather cruelly, the rest of The Beatles never gave Paul the send-off he deserved, as a songwriter or as a friend, but instead felt the need to litter their subsequent songs and album covers with a trail of vague hints. Northern Soul is a train of thought about whether I would prefer Paul McCartney or William Campbell to be responsible for Paul’s post-Beatles output.”
The video for “Northern Soul” was created and danced by Andrea Carrucciu, who starred in Years & Years’ video for their 2015 hit “Worship”. Filmed by Nicola Sersale in Hoxton Basement, the video is an abstract interpretation of one man’s descent into mediocrity.
“Northern Soul” follows previous singles “And Let Them Glow” and “Pyramids”, the video for which was choreographed by former Principal Dancer of Scottish Ballet Eve Mutso and features Mutso along with Ellie Fergusson, 2019 winner of the BBC’s The Greatest Dancer.
yllwshrk began after all the other members of Ian Anderson’s previous band Idle Kings left after a gig at the now defunct Good Ship in Kilburn in late 2014. It took over a year to find a new line-up and a new name, but eventually yllwshrk played their first gig in January 2016, at the now also-defunct The Islington in Angel.
In March 2016, the band recorded their a 3-track EP at Woodworm Studios, Banbury. It was produced by long-term Radiohead engineer Graeme Stewart, who band members Dave Brown and Ian Anderson met through touring with Jonny Greenwood in 2014-15, performing his contemporary string music as part of the London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists. However due to personal circumstances, yllwshrk was then put on hold until almost 2 years later they secured funding from Creative Scotland, Arts Council England and Help Musicians UK to record and release their debut album. The project gradually expanded, until it spanned music, dance, film and animation, comprising 29 musicians, 8 studio engineers, 4 dancers, 3 choreographers, 4 filmmakers, a drag queen, a contortionist, 4 actors, a visual artist, and a group of very angry Millwall fans on the train from Birmingham to London.
I AM ALADDIN features musical collaborations with the London Contemporary Orchestra, Berlin electronic duo Mouse on Mars’ Andi Toma, 1st Prizewinners of the 2017 Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition the Maxwell String Quartet, Scottish singer-songwriter Hannah Read, saxophone virtuoso Nick Roth, young Scottish jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie, and contemporary classical composer Linda Buckley.
yllwshrk have summed up their spirit of experimentation — as well as the ethos of cross-genre and cross-art-form collaboration — in their band name, taken from ‘The Yellow Shark’, Frank Zappa’s foray into contemporary classical music alongside Ensemble Modern.
yllwshrk aren’t rock. They aren’t classical. They aren’t a series of algorithms either. They’re musical misfits who embrace the current blurring of genres and push that to the extreme.
yllwshrk are Sam West vocals, Matt Isaac lead guitars, Ian Anderson guitars/string arrangements, Dave Brown bass/synths, Feargus Brennan drums/percussion, David Donaldson electronics/audio manipulation
yllwshrk – ‘I AM ALADDIN’ album tracklisting;
01 Smudge (with London Contemporary Orchestra, Andi Toma, Linda Buckley)
02 And Let Them Glow (with Hannah Read, Maxwell Quartet)
03 Pyramids (with London Contemporary Orchestra, Fergus McCreadie, Nick Roth)
04 Northern Soul (with Linda Buckley)
05 Arsenik (with London Contemporary Orchestra, Hannah Read, Linda Buckley)
06 Millenials (with London Contemporary Orchestra)
07 One by One (with Fergus McCreadie, Hannah Read)
09 Skin (with Maxwell Quartet)
yllwshrk’s debut album I AM ALADDIN is released on October 16th 2020 (via EOA Recordings)