Almost exactly a year on from his first widely available, but still evidently bedroom produced, EP Harmless Melodies, Brighton boy George van den Broek is back as Yellow Days; treating us to his first full length “album” Is Everything Okay in Your World?. Despite providing us with a full 13, polished tracks (alongside a now sold out UK tour), it’s still uncertain as to what IEOIYW quite is, with George himself apparently claiming his “real” debut album won’t be released until spring next year. Sticking to his blend of atmospheric, “slacker-rock” and soulful Hozier-esque vocals; this album further delves into the sunny musical landscape that Yellow Days has began to expertly craft so early in his career.
It’s easy to see why That Easy was chosen as lead single on the album; with an upbeat, infectious melody coupled with a determination in the lyrics often not seen enough in the indie genre, but still very much in tune with the rest of the album, keeping a seemingly firm grip on it’s twisted, perhaps King Krule-esque echoes. The song, both literally in its lyrics and metaphorically in its quality, makes it evident that this is only the beginning of Yellow Days- giving us so much more to look forward to.
This warmth is continued later in the album with I Believe in Love, a lazy-Sunday style (yet still heartfelt) track containing chest melting croonings about the strength of all things love, and a wailing sounding chorus that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Mac Demarco track. This track comes with a refreshing sense of optimism and romance, a long way off from the post-breakup tones the Harmless Melodies EP, showing us just how far George himself has grown- although the tracks feel no less sincere.
A particular highlight on the album, though, comes from his collaboration with rapper Rejjie Snow on Lately I. With collaborations between new indie solo artists and rappers becoming more common (think that track with Rex Orange County and Tyler, The Creator), the combination of both artists ultra-laid back atmospheres here works like a complete dream. George truly comes into his own however on the following track I’ve Been Thinking Too Hard. Sticking by this hip-hop influence and proving not dissimilar to some of the tracks from Childish Gambino’s latest prog-funk album Awaken, My Love!; the song holds a darker, more mysterious feel to what we’re used to, even sampling a speech from British philosopher Alan Watts.
Although Is Everything Okay In Your World? was just intended to be a taste of the hazy world of Yellow Days, there’s no part of it that feels incomplete and, if this album is anything to go by, we’ve got a lot more to look forward to.
Words by Alice Browne.