Parisian psych duo Yeti Lane release their third album, ‘L’Aurore’, via Sonic Cathedral and Clapping Music on March 4. It’s the follow-up to 2012’s ‘The Echo Show’, and perfectly balances their love of analogue electronics with huge waves of guitar. This time they discarded their suitcase of gear and improvised, building their sound up from scratch, and the result is a record that is rougher, dirtier and darker than its predecessor. It also finds them singing in their native French for the first time; the title, which translates as ‘the dawn’, is almost literal.
One of the main inspirations for the new album was the band’s legendary show at the Shacklewell Arms back in June 2012, where they improvised as Damo Suzuki’s backing band. Not long after this they travelled to Berlin for some similarly freeform (and still unreleased) jam sessions with Brian Jonestown Massacre mainman Anton Newcombe and Primal Scream guitarist ‘Little’ Barrie Cadogan and the duo learned to relax into their new sound. “We’ve always considered each album in response to the previous one, we try to never repeat the same things, the same gimmicks,” explains Charlie Boyer (drums/electronics). “We needed to forget our habits, to clean our minds in order to find new directions. We had a lot of fun improvising, which opened us to new playgrounds.”
As is clear from the first sight of the stunning, acid-bright artwork by our good friends Heretic, ‘L’Aurore’ was created with the same new-found freedom. “We wanted to keep the excitement of the moment, with no routine,” says Cédric Benyoucef (singing/guitar). “Everything was recorded as we were playing, just the two of us in the same room. We chose takes in which we felt something was happening, rather than the ones in which we were playing perfectly; we kept the mistakes.” On ‘Exquis’ and ‘Ne Dis Rien’ you can hear the ideas forming and shape-shifting; elemental titles such as ‘Liquide’ and ‘Crystal Sky’ are a giveaway, too. But this is definitely not a self-indulgent record, especially when there are tunes as good as ‘Acide Amer’, ‘Good Word’s Gone’ and the title track.
The duo’s core influences remain the same – 13th Floor Elevators, Neil Young, The Flaming Lips, Spacemen 3 – but it was their rediscovery of the French scene of the late ’60s and early ’70s that inspired Cédric to try writing the lyrics in French. (He cites a number of artists from the Saravah label, such as Brigitte Fontaine, Higelin and Areski, as well as ‘Obsolete’, Dashiell Hedayat’s largely improvised record made with Gong.) But, perhaps the biggest influence on the band has been simply the world around them. “These past two years, especially 2015, were dark to us on many levels,” says Charlie. “I think it was this darkness that influenced the writing and the sound a lot more than bands or movies.” The result? ‘L’Aurore’: the first light from a new Yeti Lane.