Tuesday, 18 February 2014

This is your brain on frothy coffee-The Yearning

Faringdon’s The Yearning are a studio band that specialise in daydreamy retro-pop, kind of like a classy All Saints to the Pipettes’ sassy Spice Girls. They delicately dress up 50’s/60’s pop (Brill Building, Peggy Lee, Spector, The Shirelles, Brian Wilson, all the best bits) in a de-mob suit and take it to the caff for a frothy coffee.. Judging by their short films and photographs, they have more in common with Max Bygraves than My Bloody Valentine, but are far more likely to steal your heart away.

Whether you enjoy The Yearning, I think, is more down to your attitude than your ears. A cynic may say it’s akin to hearing The Shirelles played on the piano by Nicholas Lyndhurst in Goodnight Sweetheart, but I’m rather charmed by them. The songs swell with brass and sway squiffy with strings but the best bit is it feels like singer Maddie Dobie (17 years old, voice as vulnerable and warm as recently awoken kitten) performs directly to you, the listener. A rare skill indeed. You get the feeling that what the band are trying achieve is not recreating their favourite records, but creating something beautiful, magic, timeless, personal and special. And they do achieve it.

In another universe, If You Were my Boyfriend (lead single off Elefant 10” mini album Still in Love, out now on mint green vinyl) would be the biggest wedding song in the country. It sounds like a aching hearted teenager watching the drizzle make little rivers on a window pane. The songs are hardly tomes of arch feminism (quite the opposite) but even arch feminists feel like day dreamy teenagers in love sometimes. And The Yearning capture these moments with impressive aplomb. They knocked my Bobby socks off.

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