The satisfyingly named Yawning Sons is a collaborative project consisting of members of Yawning Man and Sons of Alpha Centauri.
Sky Island is an engaging slice of desert rock, with great character and personality. Psychedelic, progressive, post-rock, indie, and shoegaze elements and influences can be heard in various places throughout the record’s 45 minutes, further adding to the band’s strong musical package. This all helps to ensure that nothing on Sky Island feels stale or in any way off-putting; quite the opposite in fact.
Each of the songs is easy to like and has the sort of well-written structure and makeup that takes no effort to instantly take to. It’s quite a laid back and relaxed album that’s beautiful in its own way. Sometimes the music’s beauty is relatively subtle, as the main focus of a given section might be on weaving a particular mood, atmosphere, or feeling that only touches lightly on this aspect of the music. At other times, however, it’s much more explicitly realised, with big doses of radiant resplendence and sumptuous colour. Whatever they’re doing, the band’s talent with shimmering melodies is readily apparent.
The songs all contain nuanced and textured playing. All of the instruments are a joy to listen to, and have an organic sound that washes over the listener like waves of light. Each track is a different story, presented for the listener’s eager delectation within a warm, familiar landscape. The band have an easy mastery of crafting lush, richly populated soundscapes, easily captivating the listener with skilful composition and delivery. The individuality of each song is further enriched by the plethora of talented singers that narrate these superbly crafted musical vistas. Each vocalist brings something different to the table, but all bring their best and work effortlessly with the band and the rest of the music to produce something quite special.
Sky Island is a triumph. If you’re a fan of the style then its impossible to dislike something as well put together as this. Yawning Sons have created understated magic on their second album.