I’m not normally one for acoustic or folk music – sure there is a time and a place for it, but it’s not frequent for me – so when I heard that Yeti Love were releasing their debut album, I was both interested in listening to it, but also a bit dubious as to whether it would be something I would buy. Yeti Love, ie Peter Hamilton and co, are a band that I met in a dingy practice space a couple of years ago during my time in a band. I have seen this project through from conception, to the early writing stages, and finally now to the release of the album, and so it feels fitting that I should share it given the time and effort I have seen go into this record. Prepare yourself for something pretty unique…
As I said earlier: folk music isn’t usually my thing. My acoustic music collection is fairly limited, and there is definitely no depth or character to it, so I concede that I am probably not the best judge of this music. That being said, Yeti Love have managed to put an alternative edge on their music that grabs me more than I thought it would. It has both a modern ‘nu-folk’ sound, and a feeling of harking back to folk’s musical heritage to it that makes this album more than just an acoustic record. It follows a trend of music that is trying to be more than the genre defines it should be; which is refreshing given all of the formula-copying bands out there.
The instrumentation on this album is diverse: including both bluesy and atmospheric electric guitars, full on drum beats and Mumford style percussion, banjos, and guest vocals. Each song has its own unique character (which is so often lacking in acoustic acts in my opinion), and so you’re rarely left feeling that you just listened to the same song 1 minute ago. Musical styles vary from upbeat Americana, to slower ballads, Blues, and finally to more alternative tracks that evidently draw inspiration from a much wider variety of music. Take for example “Ollos Do Sol”, which has a traditional English folk song sound to it, and “Blood On Her Hands” which is a fast paced party of a song that wouldn’t be out of place in an American bar. There is a song for everybody on this album, and I imagine fans comparing favourite tracks will definitely have an argument on their hands.
The standout tracks for me are “Dear John”, which has an alternative ‘Snow Patrol’ vibe to it that definitely makes it the most commercially viable, and “Blood On Her Hands” which has great energy and even manages to translate well into a recording. “Yeti Love” and “Ollos Do Sol” also deserve a listen.
I really am staggered at the sheer variety of styles that are covered on this album. Each song masters the genre it is trying to achieve with pin point accuracy – this is the music of someone who has a deep knowledge of the styles he is playing, and not just mimicking a sound for the sake of following a trend. The record feels like a trip through our musical heritage whilst managing to remain modern and relevant.
Overall, this is an impressive debut album for a man/band that is trying to achieve something quite difficult. Although this music won’t change my life personally, for people who are passionate about acoustic and folk music, this will be a very welcome addition to your collection.