Review: T.E.Yates – Strange Weather EP (2021)


T.E Yates is a Bristol-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and designer of gig flyers and album covers for bands. His new EP `Strange Weather`, the follow-up to his debut album `Silver Coins and White Feathers` was released last month and has a blend of Americana, Folk, Old-Time, 60s Pop, 70s Songwriters, Post-Punk, Rock and even Jazz and Ragtime.

This six track extended play opens with `Condition` a forthright and honest song about the artist`s experiences as a neurodivergent person. Neurodiversity refers to variation in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions in a non-pathological sense. It`s a delightfully light and breezy offering with a trumpet blast throughout which for some reason reminded me of Van Morrison`s wonderful `Dweller On The Threshold`. Along with the accompanying female vocal it works so well. The repeated line of “worry only makes things worse” brings to home the nature of this condition. We have some dreamy strings and piano keys which lead us into `Fierce Horses` before a beating drum becomes a marker throughout as the vocals are shared in an almost spoken word style. It would seem to relate to a tale where communication seems to have gone out of a relationship despite one of the participants best efforts to rectify and resolve this situation.

`Palace Of Your Master` is an almost spiritual contemplation during the autumnal season about there being more to life than wealth. The quietly shared drumbeat, double bass, pedal steel chords, musical saw and accompanying backing harmonies all meld to create a captivating reflective and slightly melancholic reflection on our existence here. There`s a quite uplifting country tinged vibe to `Fairy Tale` although the lyrics seem to reflect a more pragmatic and grounded view of these myths and fantasies.

We have a heartening and stirring submission in `Jack of All Trades` which is essentially about what it says on the tin, somebody who can turn their hand to almost anything. There were some delightful guitar riffs, drumbeats and organ refrains throughout this understated mid paced rock number. This EP closes out with `Mystery Window` and it`s a little eclectic. There`s all sorts in this musical mix of piano keys, drum, organ, guitar and vocals with harmonies that seem shared a little off key relating an odd story of a couple who seem to want to discuss the unseasonable weather rather than anything more meaningful, bizarrely addictive.

T.E. Yates sang vocals, played acoustic and electric guitar, musical saw and drew in a number of seasoned musicians to bring his vision to life with Sarah-Jane Pearson (vocals), James G. Wilson (electric guitar), Fran Lydiatt (keyboards, piano, synths, vocals), Matt Gallagher (organ, vocals), Al Grundy-Moore (trumpet), Biff Roxby (vocals), Mikey Kenney (fiddle), C.J. Hillman (pedal steel guitar), Daniel Francis Owens (bass and electric upright bass, double bass) and Matt McNicholas (drums, percussion).

This six track offering is an enthralling mix of diverse and varied numbers that will certainly put a smile on your face and have you tapping your foot along to.

Crowded House said “Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you” but I’d amend that to “Everywhere you go, always take T.E.Yates Strange Weather EP  with you”

Rating 8.5/10

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