YAATRI: WAITING ON THE SUN | REVIEW

– THE PEACEFUL PROTEST –

Yaatri are an exciting new discovery of mine and one I’m stoked to be able to finally feature on the blog. Headed up by guitarist and composer Liam DeTar (pictured), the Leeds-based quintet fuse together elements of DeTar’s multicultural upbringing; half-Indian, half-American, the frontman grew up in Germany, Nepal, Austria, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Malta, and Belgium… so he’s got around a bit.

And, says DeTar, “All the songs on the upcoming EP came from me trying to figure out what my musical and compositional voice sounds like, which is still an ongoing process.”

Waiting on the Sun is the band’s debut single and, continues DeTar, it’s a track that “explores my cultural duality by fusing together Western music (contemporary jazz, rock, western harmony) with Indian music (rhythms, scales, drones, melodic ideas, instrumentation)”.

The result is an absolute masterclass in multi-cultural modern jazz.

Musically, I’m reminded of Maria Chiara Argiro’s Nautilus (a track I described as “one of the tracks of the year” in my review of it – a statement I continue to stand by).

Like ‘Nautilus’, it wears its complexity in a quietly unassuming way, appealing to the head if you can be bothered to do the counting, but also to the heart, if you’d rather simply drift away on the track’s smoothly soothing ebbs and flows.

On the recording, we’re treated to the tabla-playing of rising Mumbai star, Zuheb Ahmed Khan but, watching the live performance only serves to accentuate what a stand-out vocal performance you get from Bethany Herrington.

In all, it’s an impressive, ambitious debut from a band that is set for big things.

The EP from which ‘Waiting for the Sun’ comes will be released in early 2020.

MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX

RACHAEL DADD: CUT MY ROOTS
ASHLEY HENRY: BETWEEN THE LINES
PYJÆN: NAH
TAWIAH: DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH

P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.

If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.

– SV –