We constantly feature new & notable indie artists that drive innovation in all aspects of songwriting, production & performance. Meet our latest featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: The Yorks
The Yorks is made up of the multi-instrumentalist duo George Azanza and Louis Richard IV. They are based out of Los Angeles. The upcoming self-titled debut EP from The Yorks is a sweeping mixture of indie rock beats and acid-induced grooves wrapped together with a charming psychedelic bow.
Comments from the Curators
Review by Josh S. Pineda, Founder & Curating-Editor
Los Angeles’ The Yorks give us groove-dependent indie rock with a rejuvenated 70s edge, in their upcoming self titled EP out August 18th. The 5-song record carries many inflating rhythmic lines in their memory-inducing psych rock, reminiscent of Temples, Peter Bjorn & John, and at points, early Phoenix. Early favorites off of their EP are “Sweep” and “Fading,” both showcasing the driving groove in the arpeggiated frenetics of the bass line, a soft haze that encapsulates their feel-good daze, and subdued pensive breakdowns that sparkles at the right moments.
Their latest single “Liaison” shows off the more yearning, cerebral quality of the band’s music, where anxious vocals and guitar lines wind about. The trembling breakdown and turn to falsetto perfectly captures “the story of an individual struggling as he comes to terms with the end of a relationship. The lack of humility spins out of control as he desperately tries to justify his own self-reflection.” Overall the EP is a fantastic debut that is both grounded yet captivatingly dreamy.
What are your top 3 favorite albums that inspired you to get into music?
Louis: I don’t know that any particular album influenced us to start making music, for me it was The Beatles Anthology documentary. Best eleven hours and twenty-three minutes I’ve ever spent. If you count the three parts of the Anthology, that makes three albums.
George: Same for me. I was inspired to make music when I first listened to The Beatles in general. But if I had to choose three albums, they would be 1, a Beatles compilation album; Is this It? by The Strokes; and, more recently, Get the Kids of Broadway by Foxygen.
What are your fondest musical memories?
One time we played a gig at a bar in East LA. Richard was only 19 at the time, so the bar owner told him to stand in a corner away from the band next to the exit while they played so should any police officers show up he could easily slip out. We reached this deal only after intense negotiation. That was pretty hilarious. What an image! Three of The Yorks on stage and one off to the side doing his best not to look too awkward.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
As listeners we’re pretty eclectic, we enjoy everything from Hip-Hop to Classical as long as we think that it’s good. If we really had to nail down a particular era I would say we pull a lot from 60’s and 70’s rock and psychedelia. We have a particular fondness for the Beatles, The Kinks, The Zombies, etc.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process? Is there a particular message or theme central to your creative works?
We don’t really have a particular way of writing songs. Sometimes we sit down and really try to bang one out, but other times an idea may come into our heads at any moment. We’ll sing it into our phones or find some way of getting it down and then build on the idea later. I don’t think we sit down with the intention to write any songs with a particular message. Even if we do, the songs and messages end up changing anyway as part of the process. Sometimes we find overarching messages and themes after the tracks are completed. For example, in “Liaison” we ended up talking from the perspective of someone whose life was thrown into chaos because of a break up. We are currently interested is the ideas of chaos, transformation, and absurdity. I think the listener can find those themes reflected in our music.
We’re a firm believer that the cities that artists are based in helps craft their sound. How would you describe your city’s music scene? How has it inspired you into crafting your sound?
Well we’re based quite close to LA, so our music scene is pretty incredible. There is just so much going on right now and it really pushes you to try and be the best you can to stand out from the sea of new Los Angeles music. When we crafted our style and sound, we tried to steer clear of some of the overplayed musical tropes that exist in the scene. We really made an effort to be unique among the many acts in our great city.
How would you describe your visual aesthetic, in terms of album artwork, music videos, and artistry? How does the music you create contribute to your visuals? Does this extend to your live show experience?
Our visual aesthetic is somewhat formal. We draw heavily from 60’s mod culture, film noir, as well as some imagery from the middle ages (war of the roses). We are also really into analog everything, including photography.
We like to use lights and color to enhance our music at shows. We made this DIY LED light fixture with the help of George’s brother that we bring out to shows on occasions. We can’t always use it, because some bars expect you to set up in less than 15 minutes, but it’s a blast when we do.
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
As much as people hate on streaming, as a band we think it’s generally a good thing to be able to share your music so easily with the world. There are other ways that an artist can make money, primarily their merchandise and touring. The money that people aren’t spending on your album might go toward a ticket to a show or a shirt, so we think it all comes around. As a fan of music, obviously streaming is one of the best things to happen to music in recent years. Being able to pay $5 a month and listen to nearly any song you could ever want, whenever you want to is pretty outstanding. As for social media and streaming and how it affects the rising musician, we think it’s just another step the music industry is taking and just like with every other evolution the industry has gone through, some people thrive and others wilt away, it’s all about how you use it.
Of course, we say all this as a very young band that has not made much money yet through music. Maybe our views will change as we grow. Or maybe not.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
Louis: Dream collaboration…that’s usually a tricky one, but for me it’s actually pretty easy. I’d have to go to McCartney. As for a whole band… again, that’s a tricky one. I understand he usually does not collaborate, but he did that one track with Kanye, so it’s possible.
George: I would love to work with someone that’s very much outside the scope of the kind of music we make. Right now the name that pops into my head is Frank Ocean. I know that sounds a little out there, but that’s why it’s called a dream collaboration, right?
Which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
Louis: “Only a Shadow” by Cleaners From Venus is pretty rockin’. As silly as it can be at times “Owner of A Lonely Heart by Yes off 90215 is just such a fun time. There are some really great tracks off that album. “Jesus, Etc.” By Wilco is such a pleasant song. The strings are entrancing and the chorus is such a great release. Well then they wouldn’t be secrets would they?!
George: I am currently obsessed by “The Waiting,” from one of the older Angel Olsen records; I just recently discovered it. I would also like to mention “Future Games,” one of the least known Fleetwood Mac songs from the pre-Stevie Nicks era. As far as best kept secrets, I would like to give a shoutout to Necklace. The guys who produced our EP are part of this band, and we really dig their jams.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
We are always working on new material. We have a few demos in the works right now. However, we are mainly focusing on playing shows and promoting the EP that’s coming out in August. If all goes well with this release we would love to start tracking out next record by the end of the year.
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