A few weeks ago I took up running. I’m naturally of rake-like dimensions but figured that had been my excuse for being lazy long enough. The first week was great, I was overtaking leaves at lightening speed and enjoying the toots of passing van-drivers as they commended me on my dedication and personality. Soon into my now all-star track career, disaster struck. I wasn’t run over, nor did I have a catastrophic collision with another runner causing us to both to take to the air then greet the road in spectacular fashion and share a lingering look before deciding we hated each other only to end up married after a series of comical chance encounters and an awkward situation involving a fish-tank… No. My foot hurt. It turns out that hi-tops, although fashionable, simply do not provide the support required of an ‘achilles tendon’; a rookie mistake induced by a post-university penny-shortage and a blatant ignorance to nursery level chiropody. Needless to say my rivalry with Mo Farah met an untimely end.
The moral of this Andersen-esque fable is that success depends on the right resources, the right preparation and effective timing. had I been aware that there are different shoes for different occasions outside of the basic pub/work/taking the bin out/nightclub framework I had been operating on I could have been the next Paula Radcliffe. Had I waited until I could afford some actual running shoes I would not have been burdened with a poorly-oiled robot leg for 3 weeks. If you’re already impressed by my ability to turn a cry for sympathy into a credible music-related analogy, prepare to gasp a little louder!
IYES. They have all the right resources; their music is delightfully unique and clearly the product of a carefully prepared mix of talents. The only injury to their immense stardom I can discern is timing, not the band’s own as no improvement can be made on ‘right now’, but rather the industry’s timing in donning their ably-sighted sneakers and immediately running IYES up the charts.
[That absolutely worked.]
As a huge fan of The XX I immediately fell in love with IYES, the two using a similar construct of contrasting vocals and electro-riff instrumentals. Together Josh Christopher and Melis Soyaslanova have created a very current sound with such diverse potential. Their music has an inherently chameleon appeal, approachable for the pop market but also relevant to less mainstream genres like chillstep and house. The duality of the pair’s vocals afford the Brighton-based duo an impressive depth and range to their musical arsenal. Soyaslanova’s light airy quality is effortlessly grounded by Christopher’s confident projection and the two meet in the middle with a breathy inflection embodying all it means to be creatively compatibile. The delicate track introductions are especially enjoyable where Soyaslanova’s halcyon tones dance over a just a small pinch of synth and some expertly harmonic backing vocals from Christopher.
The natural vocal talent of the two artists is unavoidable, however their music also exhibits a high level of ingenuity and skill in their approach to its actual composition. Instrumentals are kept largely simple and riff-based but this can be attributed to very smart attention to song progression and is used to create numerous moods and textures in each individual track. IYES use their electronic scores masterfully to encourage either contemplation or cavorting from the repetition of a few carefully selected notes. Their Lighthouse demo is a great example of how keeping tracks simple can achieve so much in electronic music. The lyrics are direct and not overly intricate and the stripped back arrangement of a quiet vocal and a limited rang of electro-notes communicates authentic emotion so effortlessly that it’s really rather beautiful.
The duo only have a kitten’s handful of demo material available online but, whilst this is a little disappointing, the odd tracks they do have up certainly lend themselves to repeat listening. This said, there is rumour of a their releasing a single in Oct/Nov and, although it is unclear whether this will be a remastered demo or an entirely new track, it’s already sitting firmly in my mental record collection. I will admit to it being difficult writing about an act with such little readily available work but as it’s constantly drilled into us throughout our lives, it’s all about first impressions; IYES have made an indelible one on me.