North Carolina-based Americana band Yarn knows all about finding opportunity in cloudy situations. Their new album, This is the Year, is a celebration of the light that shines through when life gets tough and the future seems uncertain.
Catch Yarn at Stanley’s Pub on Wednesday, August 10th!
"We were dealing with real life issues. Broken relationships, a sense of having to regroup and put some things - and people - behind us. The new songs became kind of a catharsis. Nothing was contrived. We didn't have to relate to it in the third person," Blake Christiana said. "We were living these circumstances, and that gave us the impetus and inspiration to share our sentiments. Ultimately those setbacks and difficulties led to new opportunities and allowed a little light to shine through."
The record seamlessly blends vibrant back porch melodies and narrative, descriptive lyrics about a particularly tumultuous time in the life of the band. Inspired by Waylon and Willie, Merle Haggard and other Texas troubadours with distinctly renegade reputations, This is the Year is the resolution the band reached after a period of real life challenges left the band splintered and unsure what was next. Internal tensions were simmering. A new album was scrapped. A major move from Brooklyn to North Carolina added to the uncertainty.
This Is the Year is all about re-evaluating relationships, making tough choices and sometimes skirting the rules - a page from the book of the musicians they admire. The album opens with "Carolina Heart," an homage to the band's new home; the boldy optimistic "This is the Year" is juxtaposed by tracks like "Love:Hate" and "Now You're Gone," which detail the challenges faced when one's life is jolted off its bearings. Scattered throughout are playful tunes, like "Sweet Dolly," which pays tribute to Americana's first lady, the sweet-sounding epitome of reinvention and breaking the rules.
Since 2005, Yarn has received a Grammy nomination, nods from the Americana Music Association, placed top five on Radio and Records and the AMA album charts, garnered airplay on Sirius XM, iTunes, Pandora, CNN, CMT and they were the "Download of the Day" from Rolling Stone. They shared stages with superstars including Dwight Yoakam, Charlie Daniels, Marty Stuart, Allison Krauss, Leon Russell, and Jim Lauderdale, and performed at prestigious venues including Mountain Stage, Daytrotter, The Orange Peel, The Fox Theater, 9:30 Club, South by Southwest and more. They have accumulated more than 1,000 shows, half a million miles and performed in 32 states. They've paid their dues and then some.
For Christiana, bassist Rick Bugel, singer guitarist Rod Hohl and drummer Bobby Bonhomme, the band's sixth album is emancipation; a change in direction, a chance to express themselves just as they like. The title is appropriate - this is their year to look forward. To take chances.