By Michael Dunn
The temptation and pressure for an artist to make changes in their sound once it’s been established is common.
Yppah’s previous effort, 2012’s Eighty One is a beautiful and organic album where live instrumentation is blended seamlessly with electronic elements, creating lush soundscapes with soaring, ethereal melodies.
His latest release, Tiny Pause, largely abandons live instrumentation in favour of sampled beats and synths, and while some of the melodies remain, there are fewer instances where the vocals truly lift the song as they did in his previous work. “Little Dreamer” is a standout track with a propulsive beat double-timing a dramatic set of chords into a guitar melody that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of the first two Interpol records. Delay-soaked guitar is a big part of Yppah’s style, and he employs it nicely throughout the album, even if some of his single note parts could be made a bit more expansive with wider chord voicings. “Owl Beach II” brings a more classic groove to the floor, while a slightly eerie, heavily-processed vocal reaches for the heights Yppah (pronounced “Yip-ah”) found on Eighty One. “Bushmills” is a solid club-shaker, but by the time it drops, Yppah’s tendency to skip the strong beat in favour of a guitar-laden breakdown is well established. Only finally, on “Coastal Cities” does the beat deviate from the norm and add horn lines to heighten the drama.
An artist who successfully adapts their sonic signature takes what they do well, and adds to or removes from it while maintaining their own unique identity. On Tiny Pause, Yppah provides a nice enough soundtrack for a night in the chill room while both adding and removing a little more than was required.Tiny Pause, Yppah