As many of our loyal readers will know, we get pleasantly irked by those younger than us that have managed to get their shit together enough to produce a work of art. Once such enviable youngun is Yellow Days, the brainchild of 18-year-old George Van Den Broek. Yep, at an age when we were all still picking our noses and thinking the opposite sex had cooties, Van Den Broek has created ‘Is Everything OK In Your World?’, a soulful epic of an album that many of us 20-something’s could only dream of making.
Complete with King Krule-Esque drawling vocals and a wisdom far beyond his years, the album radiates with the confusing struggles of adolescence. The sound is a melting pot of psychedelic synths, bluesy guitar and disarming beats. What guilds it with gold is Van Den Broek’s yearning voice, which scratches at the top end with beautiful emotion. The feat of creating an album so neatly tied together is almost unimaginable at any age, and his abilities bode extremely well for the rest of his career.
‘Harmless Melodies’, released last year, was glorious, with “Gap In The Clouds” as a cherry on top of the sunny sundae of an EP. The song bubbles over with intensity and surpasses King Krule’s melancholic sound into something at once energetic and introspective. How the hell he was 17 when he made this makes my skin break out in goosebumps. His voice is the lovechild of a wizened jazz singer and a 70s rock and roller. His lyrics are perceptive with an effortless clarity that magnify well trodden experiences into something vivid and authentic.
‘Is Everything OK In Your World?’ feels like a boy stepping into the shoes of a man, with dreamy sequences akin to Mac Demarco’s ‘Salad Days’. He reworks retro soundscapes to make them seem fresh as Demarco’s salad and then some. “Lately I”, a collaboration with the rapper Rejjie Snow, drips with disconcerting kookiness. Snow’s input works seamlessly, despite the unlikely pairing, proving that Van Den Broek can slink through genres as smoothly as O’Malley The Alley Cat.
Yellow Days is a triumph and we at Cowbell HQ will be cashing in our “we were there first” cheques in due course, thank you very much!