In ceaselessly chaotic times such as these, many have taken the time to look back on the influence of bygone eras and cultures. Music of the past has long been a source of inspiration for countless emerging bands, with many cutting edge artists fusing stylings throughout history with the contemporary dynamism of the modern. One such musician doing this for fantastic effect is Ruby Taylor, the brains and force behind the alt-pop project Yumi And The Weather.
Since emerging in 2013, Yumi And The Weather proved themselves to be different from their fellow peers right from the very start. Hybridising the provocative energy that’s abundant within their Brighton home scene with immersive interpersonal soundscapes and a romantic love for late 20th century electronic aesthetics, the project’s output is a swan dive into otherworldly landscapes of poignant technicolour vibrancy. It was something proven fantastically with their 2016 self-titled debut, a record shimmering with ethereal intimacy and shivering with spell binding electric honesty, one that secured slots at Bad Pond Festival, Kendal Calling, Green Man, Secret Garden Party and other high profile events.
With the world now in danger of teetering of it’s axis and plunging into the sun - at least metaphorically - music that’s personal, immersive and emotionally arresting is needed more-so than ever. Taylor’s recently released EP Some Days is an antidote for such inescapable turbulence. Written and produced in isolation as the pandemic continues to hammer the world, the record is a form of escapism much desired, a release that transplants one into an aural world free from pain, bountiful in punk energy and shrouded with stirring electronic aura.
With Some Days out now via Small Pond and with their second full length coming in the new year, we got in touch with Taylor to discuss the sound and history of Yumi And The Weather.
For those new to Yumi And The Weather, how would you briefly describe yourself?
Ruby: "I suppose it's a bit of a journey through the genres really, but with strong Indie Rock and 70s/80s Electronic influences."
Your new EP Some Days has just dropped, how are you feeling about the release?
Ruby: "I feel very proud as I wrote, recorded and produced it, and got it out the fastest I have ever done before, with thanks to Small Pond! Also, like every artist who puts out music at some stage I will get that kind of weird self doubt of it not being 'good enough' but have managed to focus on the next body of work quickly rather than over analysing it and picking it apart."
The EP was written during the lockdown, did writing it help alleviate the stress and anxiety of the events of the year?
Ruby: Music for me has always been an escape to the harsh reality but yes, particularly this year. These songs came about through the sense of hope which inspired me to get them out as fast as I could as I felt we needed some positivity in these difficult and uncertain times, and as they helped me deal with it all I thought others may enjoy the tracks too.
The EP follows on from your self titled debut. In retrospection, how was the release?
Ruby: We had a launch party at The Brunswick in Brighton with label mate Daniel Goddamn Bryom and it was PURE JOY. Felt just how it should be - people in a room together smiling and being merry...had been far too long since that has happened in a public place, let alone in a music venue.
Your work has a tangibly nostalgic feel to it whilst sounding cutting edge. What artists have inspired your sound?
Ruby: "I really like 80s post-punk/electronic production artists like Canada's Psyche, and Niger's Maman Sani. I also of course love cheesy pop like Secret Service and modern indie rockers The War on Drugs and Alvvays. In 'I Will Never Know' I aimed to create a short solo that sounded a bit Status Quo or from that era anyway."
What do you think current artists learn from such artists?
Ruby: "I think current artists learn that they never stop learning, as there is so much to dissect. I personally have learnt that you need to have fun and know when to stop, and stopping is usually when you are just doing more for the sake of it as I don't think perfection exists as things can get tweaked everyday and you end up going around in circles sometimes."
Finally, what’s on the cards for next year?
Ruby: "Well actually, that is one of my lines in the song 'No More': "Will we ever see the cards on the table..."
Anyway, well, my cards read that next year my second album is going to come out (which I am currently finishing off at the moment) but not sure when exactly... and that's all I can say really. Hope I can do some shows with the band (Anthony Keegan on Bass and Will Woodfine on Drums). We have a few pencilled in, but it is hard to tell at the moment what the regulations are of course! Keeping everything crossed except for my eyes, that venues will all be up and running again next year though without the need for a vaccine for entry."
Some Days is out now via Small Pond.