Austin Texas’ YellowFever, otherwise known as Jennifer Moore and Adam Jones, are doing big things for such a small band, both musically and in a larger sense. The two piece, who lost their third member after the release of their self-titled debut in 2009, have not only put together an impressive, multi-instrument juggling live show, but have had the chance to display said live shows when opening up for the likes of Toro Y Moi, Belle & Sebastian, Micachu & the Shapes and The xx.
The aforementioned first album, a compilation of the band’s early releases, is soon to see its younger sibling arrive as the band await the release of their second album. With the work mostly done, and a show this Thursday April 28th at the Red Rattler, along with an amazing slew of local acts in support comprising Love Connection and Super Wild Horses, we caught up with singer/guitarist/organist Jennifer Moore to discuss the new album, as well as her new found interest in yodelling and love of Julie Andrews.
Music Feeds: So your first album came out in 2009, and now you’re pretty much done with your second album. Tell me how the two compare?
Jennifer Moore: We kind of recorded it over a long time, so the songs are written over one to two years, but they’re more cohesive. The songs on the compilation were from when we were still kind of a new band, and we also used to play with our friend Isabelle who had to move away, so the two albums have been made in completely different ways. Being a two piece is kind of difficult so with the next album we’ve had to teach ourselves to write songs again. Also Adam and I have a different dynamic on our own and so when Isobel left we went through a couple of different third members, but none of them worked out.
So we decided to give it a try as a two piece, which meant we had to learn how to play all our songs as a two piece, which was kind of like learning to ride a bike or something. Adam plays drums and bass synthesiser at the same time, as well as singing. He also does stuff with loop pedals, I have an octave pedal and play two different guitars at times, or switch back and forth between guitar and organ because we really try and make it sound like the album. So when it came time to write new songs, we couldn’t really jam it out or anything so it just involved a lot of recording and emailing things back and forth. Just a lot of trial and error rather than everything at once.
The new album kind of has more complicated song structures and I think the instrumentation is busier. I tried to make weirder vocal melodies, less traditional styles. I think with the first album you can hear a lot of 60s girl group pop music inspired stuff and so this time I was trying a lot of bigger interval jumps, and I was trying to learn how to yodel.
MF: Really? (laughter) That’s certainly… different.
JM: It’s not like an all out alpine fest or anything. You know making your voice crack on purpose, it’s not all bumpkin or anything.
JM: One of the things I’m actually looking forward to about visiting New Zealand is running around in an open field somewhere and signing in my upper register with my arms outspread. I also thought that would be a good idea for a butt tattoo, Julie Andrews on a mountain or something.
MF: That certainly takes the cake as the most interesting reason to go to New Zealand anyone’s ever told me. Speaking of the tour though, are you excited to be coming down here, it must be strange to be coming all this way so early in your career?
JM: It’s funny because me and Adam and his wife and my room mate were all out on the deck talking about it and how insane it is, but we’re really excited. It feels like a big step for a little band like us. We just feel really really lucky, it just seems like it happened through a bunch of really happy coincidences, just meeting some really great people at a really great time. I kind of feel like that’s how it’s always worked in our experience. It’s great because you end up working with people who you like and who you share similar goals with and who you respect.
MF: Indeed, it’s much better to work with like-minded people rather than shallow profiteers.
JM: We’ve kind of experienced a little bit of both. We’ve been involved in certain situations with shows that have been hosted or funded by bigger corporations and it’s more of a money making mentality, and it’s kind of like this weird guessing game where you don’t really know what’s expected of you or you don’t know why people want to work with you. I feel lost at sea when I’m talking about making money in the music industry today so it’s just nice to work with people who like your music and want to help you make it and that’s the end goal.
MF: So you try not to worry about anything other than making music?
JM: How people are going to appreciate your music is always going to be capricious so you may as well just make something that satisfies you.
YellowFever play at The Red Rattler in Marrickville tomorrow Thursday 28th of April with a stellar support line up featuring Love Connection and Super Wild Horses