Posts tagged YAK
[SONG OF THE DAY] Yak - "Bellyache"
Photo credit: Zackery Michael

Photo credit: Zackery Michael

I have been cheering along London’s Yak for quite some time now and I am SO THRILLED that their latest single, “Bellyache” was released on Third Man Records last week. These dudes are the real fuckin’ deal and I genuinely hope that being on a label like TMR will get them to the audiences that they deserve.

Believe it or not, the song was written while frontman Oli Burslem was living out of the back of his car. As he explains, "I was living out the back of my £205 car, completely broke as I had put all the money we had from the label into the band. It really felt like the last piece of music we would ever make and that we had to put everything we had into it. That's where the last lyric "if you're going for broke just make sure you don't choke" comes from."

Real. Fuckin. Deal.

Love them!

The band will be hitting the road in the UK at the end of the month. Hopefully they’ll make it to the US of A early next year. Fingers crossed!

Yak's upcoming tour dates:

October 23rd: The Crescent, York
October 24th: Think Tank?, Newcastle
October 25th: Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh
October 26th: Picture House Social, Sheffield
October 27th: Deaf Institute, Manchester
October 30th: The Horn, St Albans
October 31th: The Exchange, Bristol
November 1st: Heartbreakers, Southampton
November 2nd: The Haunt, Brighton
November 7th: Bethnal Green Working Mens Club, London

[2016 Recap] A Few Of My Favorite Things
bless Topsters for assembling this graphic infinitely easier than prior years 

bless Topsters for assembling this graphic infinitely easier than prior years 

Surpriiiiseee!! I'm going to do my year end wrap up differently than most of the ones I've seen. Mostly because I have so many to share, but mostly because I like to let the music do the talking and help you get better connected to the artists themselves. Instead of recaps of each record, I'm going to point you to my favorite tracks so if any of these are new to your ears you'll have the best starting point I can give you. 

Personal Observations for 2016

This was a weird year for me in terms of listening/discovery habits. Instead of fighting against music consumption trends, I decided to play along. I dove head first into my Discover Weekly playlist. I even followed some of my friends' in order to see what I would find and set up an IFTTT recipe to archive everything recommended to me so I could go back and reference it later if I wanted. I barely touched my SKOA inbox, which probably upset a lot of publicists. Anyway, according to Last.FM's data (since Spotify never ended up sending me mine), I listened to 1,919 new artists this year, which is ABSOLUTELY INSANE. But really when you think about how much music Discover Weekly puts in front of you, it's really less than what everyone had the potential to check out (which is 1,560 if you figure we get 30 new tracks a week for a year). I am in the 98th percentile in music listening per Last.FM (meaning I listen to more music than 98% of people who still scrobble to Last.FM) and I found myself panicky and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of music that Spotify thinks I can get through on TOP of the music I already love and want to enjoy, or the random rabbit holes I end up falling into that typically bring me great new baby bands. I guess most people approach Discover Weekly differently than I do, letting artists come and go as they please, but knowing the transformative power that music possesses, I'm always wary of passing on an opportunity to be affected and share those experiences with others. 

It's crazy to think that 20% of what stuck with me this year was randomly generated by The Algorithm and not delivered to me by humans. I almost said that the human delivery was through cosmic forces, but really, if music finds its way to your ears/hearts by friend or by Algorithm, both are cosmic in a way, no? 

This is my struggle at present. I value the connection that happens when a humans experience music together, whether it be by recommendation or attending shows together. I worry this experience will continue to be diminished the more we silo ourselves into our algorithm-based echo chambers. I really hope I'm just out of touch and someone will point me to where this is the opposite, but I can't ignore how self-serving shows feel now every time I treat myself to a Night Out. This has been on my heart/mind too much lately to ignore it, so expect some changes to how things go down on the site (starting with making more time for this now that my new job isn't crazy busy for awhile). 

What music moved you this year? Did you like some of these records but different tracks? I'd honestly love to know so please drop me a comment. Also if you want more than favorite tracks out of me for these records, feel free to bug me on Twitter I am happy to share! 

My Favorite Things Of 2016


Tragame Tierra

Big Black Delta 

Top Tracks: "It's Ok", "RCVR", "Let's Go Home", "I See Fit"

Buy/Listen/Befriend: Spotify | iTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Prism Tats

Prism Tats

Top Tracks: "Pacifist Masochist", "Creep Out // Freak Out", "Death or Fame"

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter


Still Waters 


Top Tracks: "Back For More", "2Good4Me",  "My Toy", "Get Lost"

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Biffy Clyro

Top Tracks: "Flammable", "On A Bang", "Re-arrange" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Choir of Young Believers

Top Tracks: "Face Melting", "Serious Lover", "Jer Seg Dig"

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook 




Top Tracks: "Horizon", "Epoch", "Division" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend: SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Warm On A Cold Night


Top tracks: "Someone That Loves You", "Warm On A Cold Night", "It Ain't Wrong Loving You", "Good Together"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Figure EP


Top Tracks: "We Lost", "Figure"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunesFacebook | Twitter


Culture Abuse

Top Tracks: "So Jealous", "Dream On", "Peace On Earth" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Bandcamp |Facebook | Twitter

Man About Town

Mayer Hawthorne

Top Tracks: "Breakfast In Bed", "Love Like That", "Out of Pocket", "Cosmic Love"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunesFacebook | Twitter


Kishi Bashi

Top Tracks: "Ode To My Next Life", "Statues In A Gallery", "Can't Let Go, Juno", "Say Yeah"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Tick", "Shithole", "Coo Coo", "One More"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Spotify iTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Fascination", "Speed Racer"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Above Water


Top Tracks: "I Really Love You", "Stay For Awhile", "Feel So Good"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



St. Lucia

Top Tracks: "Winds Of Change", "Dancing On Glass", "Help Me Run Away"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Don't Hurt Yourself", "Formation", "All Night" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Tidal | Facebook | Twitter

For All We Know


Top Tracks: "Girlfriend", "Bad Blood", "Fool To Love"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

New York Fascist Week


Top Tracks: "I'm Still Waiting", "Gun Range", "Auf Wiedersehen"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Electric Chair", "Ginsberg", "Shipping Yard"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Legend EP

Magic Sword

Top Tracks: "The Curse", "Uprising"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Dame Fortune


Top Tracks: "Peace of What", "We Come Alive"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Sweet Addiction EP 


Top Tracks: "Sweet Addiction", "Make It Easy", "Golden Age"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter


David Bowie

Top Tracks: "Blackstar", "Lazarus", "I Can't Give Everything Away"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

The Impossible Kid

Aesop Rock

Top Tracks: "Rings", "Dorks", "Blood Sandwich"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Spotify | iTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Kill Our Way To Heaven", "Tell Me The Same", "When You Loved Me Least"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Spotify | iTunes | Facebook | Twitter


You Won't

Top Tracks: "Yah Yah Yah", "1-4-5", "No Divide"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Cut The Body Loose


Top Tracks: "Kurt Cobain", "Running Away From God"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Calm Down

Future Unlimited

Top Tracks: "Calm Me Down", "Tame"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  Spotify | iTunes | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Death Of A Bachelor

Panic! At The Disco

Top Tracks: "Golden Days", "Death Of A Bachelor" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Runaway", "Party Line" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "I Wait For You", "Bad Girl", "Down On Me"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter



Top Tracks: "Arena", "Go Time", "Destination Breakdown" 

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Building A Beginning

Jamie Lidell

Top Tracks: "Don't Let Me Let You Go", "I Live To Make You Smile", "Walk Right Back"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Who Sold My Generation

Night Beats

Top Tracks: "Sunday Mourning", "Right/Wrong", "Bad Love"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

Alas Salvation


Top Tracks: "Harbour The Feeling", "Victorious", "Alas Salvation"

Buy/Listen/Befriend:  SpotifyiTunes | Facebook | Twitter

[Night Out] YAK @ Berlin (03/30/2016)

Sometimes I don't want a big fancy show where I'm singing along with 700+ other people smart enough to like the same artist as me. 

Sometimes I just want to sweat and have some sassy guitarist randomly fling himself in the middle of a crowd and almost knock me on my ass in the process. 

This was the case with last Wednesday night at Berlin. As a #teen this was a regular occurrence for me, so where some people would get really irritated to have someone fling their entire bodyweight in your direction or get sprayed by a bottle of water, but these kinds of shenanigans leave me squealing in delight. 

Fresh off their stint at SXSW, London's noise-rock trio YAK has thrashed their way around North America and directly into my heart. As soon as singer Oli Burslem wandered onto the stage with his pants and belt undone yelling about how he just needed to take a piss before they started their set, I immediately knew that I would need to be on high alert for the next 30something minutes of my life or else I might get kicked in the head or something of that nature. 

YAK are as playful as they are loud. Burslem made sure to multitask his beer breaks, occasionally playing guitar using his beer bottle or enabling the occasional sip for drummer Elliot Rawson like he was giving a baby some milk. This was before the occasional thrash about into the crowd, which sent other folks snapping photos into a frenzy every time.

The nice thing about being a band who doesn't give a fuck is if you feel like playing a song over because you think you could do it better the second time around, you just do it. This was an added bonus for me considering of all of their songs I attempted to learn as quickly as possible, my favorite is "Victorious (National Anthem", which is the one that received the special do-over treatment. 

YAK's debut album Alas Salvation will be dropping on May 14th, courtesy of Octopus Electrical. Be sure to have a look at my photos from the show below to see all the fun you missed out on / prepare yourself for awesomeness for when they roll into your city! 


Apr 7       Amsterdam Paradiso w/The Last Shadow Puppets
Apr 15      Festival Printemps de Bourges
May 11      Birmingham The Rainbow
May 12      Sheffield Bungalows & Bears
May 13      Glasgow Stereo
May 14      Manchester Deaf Institute
May 15      Leeds Brudenell Social Club
May 17      Reading Purple Turtle
May 18      Bristol The Exchange
May 19      Leicester Cookie
May 20      Southampton Joiners Arms
May 21      Oxford The Bullingdon
May 24      London Dingwalls
May 26      Paris Point Ephemere
May 28      Lille La Peniche
May 29      Gent Big Next Festival
May 30      Nijmegen Merleyn
May 31      Amsterdam Paradiso
Jun 1         Hamburg Molotov
Jun 3         Nimes This Is Not A Love Song
Jun 4         Clermont-Ferrand Europavox
Jun 30       Garorock Festival
Jul 2          Eurockennes
Jul 7          Lyon Les Nuits De Fourviere