Track Review: Yakul: Daydreaming

‘Filled with heavenly harmonic progressions and unpredictable rhythms it’s truly sensational.’

Intro to Yakul:
Since making their name in 2018 with ‘Realigned‘ and ‘Bad Karma,’ Brighton based 4-piece Yakul featuring James Berkeley (vocals and keys), Tom Caldwell Nichols (bass), Sam Hughes (drums) and Leo Utton (guitar), have continued to push the boundaries of definable music. Sure you may hear their sound and think you could put them in the jazz category, but the next minute you could put them in electro-soul or blues. Literally. Therefore it should come as no surprise that their latest track ‘Daydreaming‘ delivers a plethora of undefinable grooves and showcases exactly why they are increasingly gaining a reputation for all the right reasons.

Track Review:
Instantly encouraging us to daydream an effortlessly chilled sound full of jazz and bluesy influences greets us. Musically developing a gentle sense of sway, its reserved nature makes us do likewise and with the texture growing in the initial moments, we are guided to the first appearance of the most generous of male vocals. To say it’s smooth just doesn’t do it justice. However, with it oozing soul on every syllable, and the harmonies enhancing it even further, there is no chance of us fully drifting away and not paying attention.

Developing more momentum, but still sounding delicate, as we reach the first occurrence of the pre-chorus we experience the contrasting musicality within the track. Evolving to reveal the syncopated rhythmic content that will feature heavily going forward, synchronised soft cymbal crashes and sustained horn lines combine with more fanfare style bursts and free-form style accompanying elements. Filled with un-predictable rhythmic accents you have to applaud how much Yakul catch you out on not just the first rendition of the chorus, but also those that follow.

Having negotiated the sophisticated but quite hectic atmosphere of the just now, we revisit the calmer side via a set of true jazz guitar melodies. Appropriately dreamy, this combined with the synth organ chords underneath create the perfect transition and set us firmly back in the former atmosphere. Likewise the continued use of extended chords ensures that the modulations contain some truly heavenly progressions. However it’s about to become even more so.

In an effort to generate further contrast in the track, on exiting the chorus for the second time, a change of style begins to move to the fore. While remaining initially in the calmer side once more, the acoustic percussive elements start to evolve into something more electro focused. If you haven’t heard the track before now, you may well be thinking that change is uncalled for. Trust me though, it serves an incredible purpose.

Evolving and building with every note, each idea seamlessly combines with the next resulting in a cross-rhythmical showcase sound. But, this isn’t all as simultaneously it takes the track into a brand new direction that turns the already superb sound into something sensational. Filled with dirty brass centred harmonies and fragmented vocals a real sense of power is generated. Like I said, it’s sensational. However, nothing – and I mean nothing – can prepare you for the full throttle finale. Daydreaming? You’ve got no chance

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Yakul are part of Listen to Discover’s #FridayFindsFeaturedArtist series which you can keep up to date with on Twitter and Facebook.

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