February 23, 2022

T.E. Yates: Strange Weather

T.E. Yates: Strange Weather

He is a singer-songwriter. He is a multi-instrumentalist. He is an artist & illustrator. He is an award-winning animator. T.E. Yates should be famous, or at least well-known, but somehow that has hasn't happened yet. His new EP Strange Weather is a text book example of how to create superb folk-tinged music with hints of country, jazz and music hall thrown in for good measure.

Yates wears his Englishness as a badge of honour, using elements that were used to great effect by songsmiths like Nick Drake and Ray Davies. As a neurodivergent person he does not fit in, but he does not allow it to cramp his style. If anything he used it to jump ahead of any prejudice. Condition, the first track of the EP, is both sad and boisterous: "It’s a condition not a sickness // Both a blessing and a curse // And you know you shouldn’t worry // Worry only makes things worse". Just as his voice is about to break, the brass section turn it up a notch to have his back... He has surrounded himself with a circle of musicians who are capable to bring his vision to life. The cinematic Fierce Horses is a widescreen experience, but he also zooms in every now and then to have a closer look at details, where he can add a few dabs of musical saw.

As an artist he is always asking questions and looking for answers, although the latter are in short supply most of the time, as he carefully explains in Palace of Your Master, a country ballad with C.J. Hillman laying down a pedal steel guitar part for the ages. Yates is serious, but he can be a jester when he wants too as well, as he takes the scaplel to the false promises of bedtime stories in Fairy Tale and job hopping (Jack of All Trades). With the upbeat Canterbury scene-falovoured pop song Mystery Window bringing the EP to the close Strange Weather has run its course, a reinvigorating 21 minute walk that deserves to be retraced many a time to take note of the nooks and crannies that were missed on the first (or umpteenth) listen.

T.E. Yates: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, musical saw
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 guitar, electric upright bass, double bass
Matt McNicholas: drums, percussion

Strange Weather is a self-released EP (CD, digital). Buy it from his website. And add his full-length Silver Coins and White Feathers (vinyl, CD, digital) while you are there, because you will want more than those six tracks.

  1. Condition
  2. Fierce Horses
  3. Palace of Your Master
  4. Fairy Tale
  5. Jack of All Trades
  6. Mystery Window

Live date:
  • 03/05 House Show, Billingshurst, UK

» teyates.com

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