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Yawning Sons - Sky Island

Yawning Sons
Sky Island
by Kevin Lewis at 10 May 2021, 7:02 PM

YAWNING SONS is a cross-Atlantic collaboration between musicians from the US and UK and is a portmanteau of YAWNING MAN and SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI. YAWNING SONS history traces back to 2008 and has been somewhat of an on again/off again project. Heavily influences by Desert Rock with some progressive instrumentation, this is a band that grooves at a nice steady tempo. Their latest offering, Sky Island, was released on March 26, 2021 via Ripple Records.

The album kicks off with “Adrenaline Rush”, a mid-tempo song with an interesting bass line that uses some cool slides at times. The drums are variable, not really following a simple beat. Those two facts give the song a bit of a groovy feeling, almost like a slower beach rock vibe. The guitars are almost funky and the vocals are clean and layered. This is a nicely paced song with a smooth melody that remains consistent and a little restrained. It has a good feel to it that is calming, yet vibrant.

Low In The Valley” is a bit more sludgy and dark. The tones are heavier and feel is gloomier. This leans towards an almost BLACK SABBATH-esque feel, similar to "Planet Caravan". Again, the song is very level and even, never trying to vary out of its’ pocket. The drums have a John Bonham style beat at times. The song often feels ethereal, bringing to mind a relaxing sit outside after a long day. Nice and mellow, relaxed and calming.

Another cool thing YAWNING SONS does is going instrumental, like on “Passport Beyond The Tides”. The prominent keyboards in this song add to the feeling of relaxation and contentedness. The guitars are playful and daring, the keys laying underneath creating a cushion of sound. This song on loop could be calming background sound used to help focus the mind and increase productivity.

Shadows And Echoes” has the closest opening to a rock and roll song. It’s less ethereal and more melodic. The vocals are still quite ethereal, quiet and calm with a hint of darkness in the them. The middle of the song hears the vocalist go a higher in her range, but still using more of a restrained power to not outshine the instruments.

YAWNING SONS is a band that does not get in a hurry. They don’t try to rock your socks off. They just play good, solid melodies that are soothing and dreamy. This could be the album you need to help to you focus on the task at hand, whether that is writing a paper, meditating or searching for inspiration. You can actively listen and enjoy the peaceful melodies or have it in the background for white noise. Both are good ways to digest this record.

The musicianship is good and the production is solid. The compositions are really good. Overall, the record is very enjoyable. It can be enjoyed in more than one way. Even better, it hits the mind differently when you listen actively than if you listen passively. That is the mark of a good record that has depth and substance.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  8
Production:  8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Adrenaline Rush (vocals: Marlon King)
2. Low In The Valley (vocals: Dandy Brown)
3. Cigarette Footsteps (vocals: Mario Lalli)
4. Passport Beyond The Tides
5. Shadows And Echoes (vocals: Wendy Rae Fowler)
6. Digital Spirit (vocals: Scott Reeder)
7. Gravity Underwater (vocals: Dandy Brown)
8. Limitless Artifact 
Lineup:
Mario Lalli – Vocals
Nick Hannon – Bass
Kyle Hanson – Drums
Gary Arce – Guitar/Lapsteel
Marlon King – Guitar
Blake – Keyboards 
Record Label: Ripple Music
     


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