Inventive artist James Yuill releases his new album ‘A Change In State, this Friday (28th July). Taking his disparate influences: Nirvana, Nick Drake, Justice and Aphex Twin and mashing them into playful pop nuggets combining the energy of folk and electronica, lacing layered textures with beats, seductive synths and crafty melodies. We had a chat with James about his album and the inspiration behind the tracks on his album.
Could you explain the writing and recording process?
‘With this album, I was trying to go back to the mindset of Turning Down Water For Air. All songs were composed first on the guitar and then recorded into the computer. I’d then add the production around it. Trying to keep it as simple as possible. However, that’s quite difficult for me, as I like to have lots of things going on.
The only song that doesn’t really fit into this formula is Sorted, which came from an experimental drum loop and then I ad-libbed the guitar and vocals over the top. What you hear is essentially just a polished version of this.
What was the inspiration behind the album?
‘I didn’t set out to capture a certain theme, but I guess the overall feel of the album is one of re-evaluation. I’d taken a break to start a family, which as anyone who has gone through the process knows, it makes you very aware of your responsibilities.
Could you give us some background on the each song.
‘Cashews was almost the last song written for the album. It’s about not cherry picking the best bits in life, but taking it all in as a whole.
Back To The Sun is a mixture of things. Perpetual night with a new born and preparing myself to get back into the performers limelight again.
A Careless Anon was one of the first tracks I wrote for this album. I just wanted a song which was essentially all the good bits. Not following a certain song structure. In a way, I guess it does fall into quite a mainstream song structure. Let’s just say I bend my usual rules a bit.
Sorted was the track I ad-libbed. I was trying to work out a Burial beat and enjoyed the loop so much I picked up the guitar and recorded the guitar and lyrics straight off the top of my head. I re-recorded these as the sound quality was not ideal, but nothing was changed.
Hot Damn is basically a collage of my many drunken nights out with friends.
Fire Breathing was built up around a simple guitar loop and the lyrics were pretty much me paraphrasing a conversation I’d had with a friend.
When In Flames is the albums instrumental number. I knew I wanted something quite classical in chord progression, but with a modeselektor-ish beat.
Two Faces is a strange tune. I’d obviously written the first half as a folk song and then when I’d come to record it, it felt like it needed a build at the end. I just started messing around really.
Warm Embrace was written as an ode to Nick Drake really…musically that is. Lyrically it’s about feeling a bit left out of things.
Primal Yell is again about reevaluating things. The production is very much a homage to the Beta Band.‘
Yuill shared the glitchy video for his new single ‘Fire Breathing’ this week, watch it here: