Wednesday, June 20, 2012

YNGVE & THE INNOCENT The Sadness Of Remembering

Moving from first a solo act to then a fully-fledged band, and with a pair of singles tucked under their collective belts, Yngve (pronounced
Ing-vuh) And The Innocent have honed their sound into a finely polished, sunny Americana. The debut album from the London-Irish country-pop outfit comes as appropriately kitted out as the band in the video below – unobtrusive drums, slide guitar, lonesome harmonica, four-piece harmonies that appear out of nowhere, all complement the frontier dwellers’ waistcoats and narrow brimmed hats. But it is the keyboard that often sets the mood for individual songs. Fleet-fingered honky-tonking on ‘You'll Be Mine’, ruminative electric piano on introspective opener ‘Weight Of Your Finger’, darkly emphatic in the sombre anthem of ‘Mr King’, or jazzy regret leading into rousingly affirmative in the the six minute orchestral pomp of ‘Every Man’.

You may pick up earlier references – The Band in the politician-dissing hootenanny of ‘You've Been Released’ or the pop-leaning moments of The Jayhawks in ‘Chip On A Shoulder’ – but Yngve And The Innocent never sound too in thrall to their elders or in swoon to trendy trappings. Yngve's vocals occupy a middle-ground, pitched between age and youth, between wearied experience and eager expectation but still possess a strong sense of character.

The final three songs on this twelve track album deliberately switch to a slower, more maudlin mood but less successfully so. The four piece - Yngve Wieland on guitars, his brother Demian on drums, Andrew LaCombe on piano and organ and Charlie Webb on bass - sound more emotionally engaging in mid or high gear rather than idling in neutral at the end of lonely street. Whilst songs mention redemption, travelling and heartbreak a plenty, those who prefer whisky-soused, antique rawness may find “The Sadness Of Remembering” a tad too polite. But for the rest, this is crisp, fun, versatile country music that's not ashamed to be sporting a fresh gloss.

Yngve And The Innocent The Sadness Of Remembering [BUY]

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