Yourself and The Air
Yourself and The Air The year was twenty zero six and the world was warming. The financial markets were green, growing and flush with opportunity. America's sociopolitical equator was quivering, preparing for a shift, for the right vibration to set the line askew. Syd Barret had died a lonely recluse; Steve Irwin was killed in a freak sting ray accident, the crowned prince of the free-market, Milton Friedman, expired way past due and on Christmas morning; instead of a present we found the hardest working man in show business unresponsive under the tree. A thick urgency hung on every desperate word and while the world just kept on spinning round, a few humans from just outside Chicago finally had enough. And on the seventh day, while God was sleeping in the back pew, friends Erick Crosby (guitar, vocals), Drew Rassmussen (drums), Jeff Pappendorf (keys) and brothers Nicholas David (Guitar) and James David (bass) coalesced to make Yourself and The Air, an ever-changing musical outlet of emotion, ambition and will to get up, dust yourself off and make something of this one life we all have to live.

With little musical experience among them and none a traditionally trained musician, Yourself and the Air began with one goal and one expectation: make music and feel better. The idea was, is and always will be chivalrous as artists, there is no other choice than to make art and share it. It's about connection, about linking and about knowing that we're never alone as long as we wake up to the same sun and sleep under the same moon. In 2006, it became evident that if we really are the humans we believe we are, we must become the people we know we are and treat each other as such. It was immediate, beyond words and thoughts, and what used to be the individual and solitary catharsis of a small family had become Yourself and The Air.

The first release "Hola mi Cielo" (2006) was a process of self discovery. The songs were about love, girlfriends, relationships, parties, disappointment and all the other things males in their late teens and early twenties endure, but slowly the music chipped away at their hardened souls.

A year later light started shinning through cracks in the band's surface, a color here, a squinting reflection there and then came "Cold Outside Brings Heavy Thoughts to Think" (2007), a lesson in endurance. The group of friends and brothers was officially a band with something to prove. The songs were no longer lo-fi demos, but exhausting displays of restlessness and intensity that demanded attention despite fatigue. The angular guitar riffs flexed in acuity, not merely contrasting each other, but accentuating every note as if every second was dependent on the one that came before it. With practice came an unspeakable unity. Suddenly the lives of the five members of Yourself and The Air became just that.

The band began touring heavily and what little Yourself and The Air lacked in musical prowess, was more than made up for by sincerity and an earnest compassion for their fellow human. It was during this time that survival instincts took over. The band was a family, each worked part time jobs handling packages, waiting tables, delivering pizzas, bagging groceries, anything for the betterment of the band, this strange and newly formed organism that was evolving before everyone's very eyes. Touring the corners of the continent shifted Yourself and The Air into a new gear. No longer running on gas or money, the azure Rocky Mountains fueled their desires, Arizona's barren orange canyons provided shelter and California's wrinkled and tempered beauty replaced food for thought. Stationed behind Micekill, the band's name for their touring van, a more meaningful life appeared, but one not without its share of complicated hazards. At one point, the band resorted to stealing coins from an Arizona fountain to pay for the gas to the next show. Broke and in Virginia, the band slept along the shore of Virginia Beach for two days. The lineup began to fluctuate with Jeff Papendorf leaving to finish a degree in geology and each member being forced to play the hands they'd been dealt. Family and drug problems tested Yourself and The Air's dedication and commitment.

Following their successful North American tour, the band responded to their struggles with a resolute determination and their third recording "Friend of All Breeds" (2008), a measured recitation of everything that' s been learned and humble omission of all that is yet to be achieved. The band was picking away at themselves, revealing a bright and glowing vibrancy beneath the brittle flakes of their former selves. On Friend of All Breeds the parts merged together and Yourself and The Air stopped playing instruments and started playing songs. The progression was evident and exciting. The new songs hinted at something no one in the band thought possible-- a better future. The songs were oscillating uncontrollably, yet confidently and the music teetered on the precipice of an intangible and infinite destiny as it morphed from one spacey waltz to another. The count down of abstract time has begun and in a verbose silence Yourself and The Air' s whisper about everything and nothing at all is growing louder than the empty echo of an exploding heartbeat unheard.