Delicate intimation from a tight-knit unit sharing their inner light with the world.
Back in 2012, when this NYC band quietly arrived at the scene with "Films", they offered a screen-like immersion into a big city life. Now, with the line-up slimmed down to guitarist Sasha Markovic and pianist Kana Kamitsubo who first worked together on THE SOURS’ debut, it revolves around a new axis. “Kai” is their child, and the quotes are optional here, because it’s the name of the couple’s baby boy, so there’s an extra dimension to YAGULL’s music: one of vibrant vulnerability.
Such a tenderness gives a well-tempered, classical elegance to the title track’s lullaby which sees a melody gently passed from one parent to another, and a breathtakingly chilling sensation to opener “North” where two acoustic instruments, in turns accompanying each other, slowly weave a spell of a web. And if “Mio” shrouds the old spiritual crunch into baroque beauty, Kana stopping short of quoting Beethoven, there’s a bare-bone urgency to “Dark” that, having appeared on the previous album in a different arrangement, reveals its transparent reggae skeleton this time. Just as magical, FREE’s “Wishing Well” is stripped of its original belligerence in favor of a lucid chamber warmth and folksy grace, its pacifist message heightened with Wen Chang’s violin figure.
Then, the pair’s hot imagination breaks the Cassandra curse of DEEP PURPLE’s “Burn” into country-flavored smithereens and links it back to Gershwin’s “Fascinating Rhythm” only on the coda, so the riff simmers on the ivories, whereas Gabriel Nat spikes it all with clarinet and Beledo adds his lute to the mix. He also duels with Sasha on “Omniprism,” and another labelmate of the family, Dewa Budjana’s six strings harmonize with Sasha’s strum on the jazzy “Blossom.” Rounding up the MoonJune presence, Marko Djordjevic percussion renders the court dance of “Z-Parrow” majestically infectious before “Oyasumi” brings the balm of this calm to a close – the song’s title means “Goodnight,” and there no kinder way to ask the guests to go home after a hushed pleasure has been had. A tremendous gift of love is here to stay.