The Texas toast of our New York town, THE BROOKLYN BAND is back with their third AA-side release
In September 2019, we had (a bunch of) drinks with (4/5 of)) Yella Belly at The Anchored Inn.
This was in their earlier stages as a band—a few months after the release of their double-side debut, ‘Bad Dog / Last Days,’ but before the release of their second single, ‘The Long Haul / Mean Ol’ Mama.’
There, squished together (the glory days!) at a picnic table outside the Bushwick bar, the band comprised of native Northeasterners and Texas transplants discussed their favorite Brooklyn spots before—after some Tex-Mex talk and a particularly passionate barbecue review from Will— the conversation, of course, turned to their music and I asked the guys of the group how both TX and NYC have influenced their sound.
WILL THOMPSON: “I think there’s definitely a huge New York influence still. And obviously, I keep talking about Texas.”
CONNOR JONES: “Maybe you need to go home for a little bit.”
WILL: “Maybe subconsciously I’m just homesick and it’s starting to come through the music a little bit too, because a year ago I would have been opposed to maybe country-fying what I was writing, but now I’m just more into it than ever. So I think it’s like Interpol on one side and Willie Nelson right here, and I’m like, how can we put those together…”
CONNOR: “I think that’s the perfect analysis of what we do: If Willie Nelson was in Interpol.”
JAKE HIEBERT (singing in country accent): “How are things on the West Coast…”
Fast-forward approximately 40 years to Summer 2020 (July 24th, to be specific), and I’m beyond stoked to present ‘Baby Please / Lo Down’, the newest AA-side from Yella Belly—out everywhere TODAY!
While music as we know it has been on hiatus since March, the band managed to Indiana Jones it and slide in just in the nick of time, recording the tracks and mixing everything at Spillway Sound, the Catskill Mountains studio of tUnE-yArDs producer and engineer Eli Crews, right before NYC… and everywhere else… totally shut down.
The fact that the band managed to squeeze in the sessions necessary to get these two excellent songs out in the world is not only great for them, but it’s even better for Yella Belly friends and fans (such as, um, myself) who were already dreading the idea of a new-music draught.
“We’re thankful we were able to create and walk away with something right before the guard rails went up and the band got put on pause,” Will told us over email.
If you’re reading this, I think we can all agree: we’re pretty thankful, too.
While the new songs—produced and engineered by Will and Yella Belly’s (and Forever Honey‘s!) Jack McLoughlin, along with Degraw Sound’s Ben Rice—still have that growling, prowling (though less howling) Yella Belly signature sound, this release possesses fewer Americana and alt-country flavors than those evident in ‘The Long Haul / Mean Ol’ Mama,’ veering instead in a more rock-focused direction for a result that I’m definitely digging but—I have to admit—has me wondering one thing:
Where, exactly, is Will homesick for now?
I guess we’ll have to wait for the next AA-side (or, ya know, Anchored Inn drinking sesh) to find out.
‘Baby Please / Lo Down’ is released under the band’s own LGC imprint and out everywhere now.
Follow the band on Instagram at @yellabellyband, buy their music on Bandcamp (+ add it to your Spotify playlists!) and find all things Yella Belly at yellabellyband.com.
Feature image (provided by the band): Ashley Ecklund