INTERVIEW. No No Yeah Okay talk inspiration, niche music scenes and future endeavours

Words: Steph Baker

I myself, do it completely for the ability to perform and find myself in the best mental state possible while doing so.”

The Milwaukee-based sonic melting pot No No Yeah Okay surprise released their latest single ‘What Can I Say‘ off of their forthcoming EP, Cabal. We got to get to know them, to talk inspiration, their local music scene and what’s next in store for No No Yeah Okay.
When it comes to complex sounds, No No Yeah Okay are masterminds. They are “all over the map when it comes to influences”. Some are clear when listening to the tracks which somehow fuse together electronic beats with punk, however there are some hidden treasures that wouldn’t immediately come to mind. “For example, you might not guess that Colin is a huge LCD Soundsystem fan, “you might find Josh wearing out the same Fugazi albums in his headphones, but he’ll be lifting a bass groove idea out of 70s funk”. When it comes to ‘What Can I Say‘, a perfect “coming to terms anthem”, the main inspiration came from the band’s surroundings at the time of writing; “I wrote it on the tail end of an extended stay in Southern California in which everything for me at the time was perfect. I realised in a moment that things might not ever feel this good and was in the moment accepting of this forward progression of emotions but also terrified to lose the zen i was in.” 
What Can I Say - Single Art.jpg
The four-piece kicked off making music in 2014 by Mark (production) and Christopher (guitar) creating an ever-growing library of unique sounds, soon enough vocalist Colin, who was an independent rapper at the time to come on board and add some vocal magic to their tracks just before Joshua (bass) joined to tie all the elements together. “Milwaukee’s electronic scene is really popping right now and seems to be headed in a great direction. Acts like Luxi, Kiings, and a Producer collective that goes by Noh Life are expanding beyond city limits” and No No Yeah Okay have really made their mark on their local music scene and built a reputation for their gigs. We’d like to think we are unique in the local scene. Our live sound is a bit more intense as we are incorporating live drums and the bass and guitar tend to stand out a bit more so it creates this contrast between what people may have heard us record and what they are hearing in person.” Colin explains the best thing about growing as a live act, “for me it is the reaction from the crowd and the introduction to new faces each and every show.”
But now that the local area are familiarised with the mesmerising sounds of No No Yeah Okay, what is next in store for them? For a group that is still in the process of finding their identity, they are non-stop; “we are in the beginning stages of planning out a midwest tour as well as a few east coast stops… aside from that we are continuing to write and after the EP release in June, we will be working on and releasing some singles to wrap up the year”.

While waiting for the release of the ‘Cabal‘ EP, listen to the new single ‘What Can I Sayhere. You can also send them some love on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Baker out

INTRODUCING. Cameron Avery with debut album review – Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams

Release date: 10 March 2017
Genre: Experimental blues/folk
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
Words by: Scott Murray

With such an emphasis on production in the modern era, vocals have seemingly fallen to the back burner. This is not the case for Perth’s Cameron Avery. His debut album ‘Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams is a truly beautiful offering thanks to Avery’s transcendent vocals, with the entire album highlighting vocal qualities reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. This, paired with Avery’s poignant lyrics of longing and loss, create a dramatic vocal landscape.

That is not to say that Avery’s production suffers as a result, to the contrary Avery has created a striking instrumental landscape filled with sounds not of the modern age. His use of strings, horns and even an organ is shockingly refreshing in an industry filled with synths, and generic drum beats.

This old school sound shines in the albums fifth track, ‘Big Town Girl’, a soulful ode to Jane, the girl running circles in Avery’s brain. Avery drives this home in the song’s forth verse.

“You know I’ve never had the time to wait around for a dame, but if I knew that we could make it I’d wait around for Jane”.

The track begins with a swell of an organ before being joined by thoughtful guitar and minimalistic percussion. Avery’s voice then cuts through the instrumentals in what feels like an instant, but lasts in your ear for far longer.

A standout of this track is the pain in Avery’s voice, constantly oozing his longing and eventually his loss. These two themes can be heard throughout the record, no more so than when Avery croons “Could I suit her better, than that dark blue sweater? Probably not.”

There isn’t a tune on the record that manages to escape Avery’s titanic wave of despair, every track dips its toe into the deep pool of Avery’s pining. This coupled with Avery’s seeming opposition to contemporary sound has allowed Avery a unique opportunity to let his lyrics to take the fore.

However, there are tracks that seem entirely independent of this sound. The album’s third track ‘Dance With Me’ highlights this through its neo-western sound, similar to that of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds track ‘Red Right Hand’.

As well as this there are tracks that give glimpses of Avery’s psych rock pedigree. Avery, Tame Impala’s touring bassist and a former member of Pond, briefly lets his roots show in the album’s two busiest tracks ‘The Cry of Captain Hollywood’, an entirely instrumental track that is as rousing as it is peaceful, and ‘Watch Me Take It Away’.

Watch Me Take It Away begins with pulsing, almost sitar-esc guitar before the track takes flight with a swarm of rhythmic clapping and heavy short bursts of guitar and rapid fire percussion. This ensemble becomes a tapestry that allows Avery to highlight his range whilst also allowing his powerful lyrics to shine. The track follows Avery’s growth as he grasps that he need not waste his time on relationships without mutual respect, starting the third verse with the glass shattering realisation that his time is as important as anyone else’s. “I aint got time for your perversions, I spend my time transcribing versions of the truth”.

Overall the album is musically undefinable, and yet astoundingly beautiful. There is something ethereal about Cameron Avery’s voice that creates a sense of hope, despite the distinct sense of loss seen through almost all of his lyrics. This is a fantastic first effort from a talent that has been hidden behind a bass guitar for far too long.

 


Listen to the highly anticipated debut album from Cameron Avery here
Also make sure to check him out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

 

S.M.