By Kavit Sumud | February 8th, 2013
When James Yuill’s track “Turn Yourself Around” came across my ears, I was instantly transported back to one of my personal anthems of 2009, Mackintosh Braun’s “I Won’t Fall.” Yuill captures the trembling nature of being adrift in a synth-based track of self-discovery. And after getting to hear a few other tracks off his upcoming LP, These Spirits, I thought the best way to review a fellow “strangest boy to ever be lost in California” was to write about where his music takes me… which is a journey I feel in some ways that we are kindred spirits in.
This song could easily have been a soundtrack to the wild phase I went on the last three years. I always have had a bit of a death spirit in me (as I call it), which is a self-assured fearlessness that can be wielded toward great progress or destruction. And after the years of intense struggle that was my endeavour to finish college while poor, I was a little tired of using it for good.
Plus, I’ve always found so much life at the moment of near annihilation. So, I went nomadic, hitchhiking my heart through most of the United States; the only thing I trusted less than the permanence of human connection was an honest feeling.
I lived hand to mouth and got to explore American civilization at its most base and exhilarating natures. But since I lived by half-truths — never connecting fully with anyone — I always felt like “there was another charlatan in my walls” and I was moving horizontally when I wanted to move rhizomatically.
So, that’s the power of music right there, which Yuill’s evocative track was powerful enough to make come streaming back to me. Yuill is like an intoxicating mix between Yuksek, Mackintosh Braun, Sebastien Tellier, and Junior Boys –capturing the spirit of their experimental beats and sentimental sonicscapes into dance tracks worthy of a night drive fleeing California or gamboling through a strange discotheque in Georgia.