INTERVIEW: Yellow Creatures | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Released at the back end of 2014, Newcastle-based Yellow Creatures’ last EP The Year Of Everything And Nothing turned out to be one of the most intelligent and engaging post-punk records of the year. Less than 12 months down the line, the four-piece are already back, this time sporting a new, synth-laden sound in the form of new single Calendar Man. “We’ve kind of been developing our sound because we’ve been quite guitar-based and post-punky and a bit retrospective in the past,” frontman Marc Bird reflects. “I think Calendar Man will hopefully be the one that bridges the gap between the old and new stuff, which sounds a bit more modern, bringing in some electronic sounds and being a bit more experimental.”

A desire to be more forward-thinking in their approach spawned the band’s change in direction. “I think we felt like we wanted to make modern music that sounds like its being made now rather than something that’s revivalist,” Marc explains. “We’ve had a lot of people say that we sound like a band from the 80s and that’s great, lovely compliment but still…” The result of these efforts to move into more modern territory is a single which sounds as if it could have been taken from darker cuts by Tears For Fears or Teardrop Explodes but with crisper production values. “I listen to too much stuff from the 80s,” Marc muses. “You can’t listen to great 80s post punk bands and not feel like you want to sound like it because it’s so bloody good.”

“we felt like we wanted to make modern music that sounds like its being made now rather than something that’s revivalist”

The single hasn’t been directly inspired by those 80s sounds, though. Marc and his bandmates have been enthused by a number of more modern artists. The production of FKA Twigs and Frank Ocean and the more experimental sounds of Broadcast were particular cornerstones, however it was the change in direction from cult Kendal indie band Wild Beasts that was a particular influence on their new sound. “I love the stuff on Two Dancers but then I think the sounds are more similar to the most recent album, a bit more synth.”

There’s certainly a comparison to be made between the Creatures’ and the Beasts’ evolutions; Calendar Man all but shuns guitars – save for one jangly, haunting riff. “There’s a little riff but the guitar’s quite a background element,” Marc says. “The main thing is the synth part and the drums. They’re real drums but they’re so tight that they sound electronic and then there’s synth strings and stuff. Using the guitar sparingly is probably what we’re doing with the newer sound.”

Calendar Man is just a taste of what’s to come on the new Yellow Creatures album, due next year. Marc’s attitude towards airing songs hints that we should expect a collection of tracks in a similar vein. “I like to think that when we put out a song it’s not just a song, it’s more of a project that tries to pull everything in.”

Yellow Creatures release Calendar Man on Monday 7th September. The band play The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle on Friday 18th September.

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