James Yuill: Turning Down Water For Air

By: Cat Johnson

One-man-band James Yuill has taken his appreciation for the song stylings of Nick Drake (and his ever-growing sea of disciples), and his knack for creating dynamic beats (that spring so abundantly from his native England) and rolled them into a finely-crafted pop gem of downtempo-meets-coffeeshop musical goodness.

Firmly making it's mark on the "folktronica" map, Turning Down Water For Air (Nettwerk), written and performed almost exclusively by Yuill, begins with "You Always Do," a sleepy little acoustic guitar track that gives a tip-of-the-hat to the artist's Celtic roots. The second track, however, entitled "Left Handed Girl," begins unveiling the genre mash-up that is bringing Yuill worldwide attention, and so continues the rest of the album, with electronic textures and rhythms playing oh-so-nicely with great lyrics, instrumentation and melodies, each one strengthening and illuminating the other, as the push-and-pull of energies holds the project together like a gentle breeze changing direction and strength, yet remaining a cool and welcome force.

The electronic element of Turning Down Water For Air is more chill-out than club hit, revealing Yuill's very capable producer skills, which he's showcased on remixes for Au Revoir Simone and Tilly and the Wall, among others, while his song crafting skills have led to film scoring and soundtrack projects, which seem a natural fit for the easy style and emotionally-accessible delivery of this unique and engaging artist.

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[Published on: 9/9/09]

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