Sydney based band Yellow Monday has maintained a steady output in recent years, material which includes World Through Those Eyes, Simpatico, Should I Jump, Kanchendzonga and Minda Love, with a compilation of early recordings released last year titled Home Cured 2000-2006. The band has now released an engaging new record, Double Island. The band’s sound utilises an impressive assortment of uncommon, atypical instruments, including tabla, cittern, baglama, cello, esraj and twelve-string guitar.
Double Island harnesses a traditional organic soundscape yet offers a contemporary approach, one that ultimately imbues the track with colour, laid-back enthusiasm, and freshness. It also features a candid, heart on a sleeve lyric that will undoubtedly resonate with many. As songwriter Andy Gray says about the inspiration for the track, ‘Double Island is a song about getting together with my beautiful wife many years ago. We were friends, and it turned into something much more. The words are all true. This song is quite a journey.’ Recorded by Phil Snow at Bulletin Place Studios, Sydney, Double Island features Bhagta Singh on esraj, Ziaul Islam Tomal on tabla, Lexi Rose on backing vocals, Craig Calhoun and Andy on guitars, mandolin, and vocals. Island’s various pleasures lie in the gentle and serene aspects, where each instrument effectively blends with another and Andy’s smooth vocal a skilful accompaniment.
The song’s melodic strength is also a highlight, one the minimal production and instrumentation makes the most of. The track flows with restraint and accomplished performances all round, laid-back yet retaining a quiet sort of energy. Double Island will indeed generate across the board support, with its subtle mix of light rhythms and evocative tones, paving the way for Yellow Monday’s vibrant and original style to achieve mainstream success. Double Island is enchanting and cleverly intoxicating and well worth a listen.
Vince Leigh for THEAUSSIEWORD.COM.