James Yuill - Movement in A Storm
After spending last year performing a colossal 105 gigs in over 15 countries, it seems this effort of ‘James Yuill-ifying’ the planet has given time for the 28 year old Londoner to rub his hands together and charge some positive ions. The result is Movement in A Storm, a record which undoubtedly lives up to its name by being as sporadic as a cloudburst, but as stunning as a lightning rod. This may be Yuill’s second album, but it contains similar butter-coated tracks to those found in his acclaimed debut, Turning Down Water for Air. Both ooze with congruent, harmonious melodies that are melted only by the warmth of his pacifying Her Space Holiday-esque vocals, whilst maintaining an essence of Hot Chip-inspired meditative musings that sedate your soul into a state of relaxation.
You can put your scented candles back in the cupboard though, as in tracks such as ‘Crying For Hollywood’, ‘First in Line’, and ‘Taller Son’, Yuill mounts serenity ontop of an 80s backbeat that doesn’t hesitate to thump its way past faint assonant utterances of vocals and guitars. There is also a presence of sun-basking synths reminiscent of Calvin Harris’ own that make an appearance not only here, but throughout the whole album, giving way to what can only be described as an eclectic collection of percussive tinkling, electronic wanderings and dance-hall pulsations.
This concoction then reaches its climax in ‘My Fears’, a track that appears to have an instrumental exorcism of all the electronic effects known to man. It features the same summertime beats that vibrate throughout Movement in A Storm, but instead adds a unique blend of sporadic tintannabulating (Tullett ... my office for a chat - Content Ed.) also to be heard in ‘On Your Own’. Here Yuill proves his effortless fabric conditioner vocals can soften the more chaotic of rhythms, providing the same sense of serenity that is to be found in the rest of the album.
What’s definitely clear with this record is James Yuill’s musical presence and ability to add a sense of calm to anything he touches. Movement in A Storm does what it says on the tin: it features summer sensory placidity, but also includes a needed hint of disruption.