Yngve & the Innocent – Nothing Was Delivered EP

Yngve & the Innocent - Nothing Was Delivered EP coverThe frontman of Yngve & the Innocent, the eponymous Yngve, has been performing and recording music for over half a decade, but it was in 2008 that he permanently upped sticks and moved to London from Dublin/county Sligo, with his new band forming soon after. The alt-folk four-piece have been gigging the UK and Ireland pretty relentlessly since then, honing themselves as a live band through tours, regular slots and even a few residencies.

Nothing Was Delivered is the band’s first EP, and it’s a labour of love that highlights their easy musical competence. Opening with the chipper ‘You’ve Been Released’, the fusion of classic 50s Americana with a more modern pop attitude and sound is evident: upbeat good-time piano mixes with bluesy guitar riffs, all with a tugging thread of swing to the rhythm and a charmingly chirpy tone to the vocals. ‘You’ve Been Released’ ploughs a similar furrow if a little cheekier and boasting some snappy chorus vocal lines, with the lyrics addressing the time-worn but still resonant theme of making your own mistakes and being who you want to be.

Track three, ‘Feel Free’, changes things up a bit: I can’t help but be reminded of polka by its 1-2 rhythm. No, wait, come back! I just meant that’s a stomping number. Would you feel better if I described it as a hoedown – perhaps a hootenanny? This track also brings the piano to the fore, with a particularly ace extended piano bridge.

The slower-paced ‘Lower Case G’ drops the piano entirely, focusing on acoustic guitar, bass and vocals, with a more maudlin tone. Lyrically the song is a slightly sad but still optimistic look at the excesses of youth and the loss of faith: “To have no faith and yet still believe in God”. The song is rounded out with a hooky blues-rock guitar solo during the bridge and some simple yet effective vocal harmonies to close . ‘Pretending I Had Faith’ remains in the same thematic territory, reintroducing piano and also, excellently, mouth organ, making the Bob Dylan comparison even more unavoidable.

Overall Nothing Was Delivered is a great piece of pop music, respectfully plucking ideas and sounds from the past panoply of Americana before integrating them into a considered and modern context. Lyrically it’s introspective without being naval-gazing and occasionally sharp, and musically its interesting, fun and fairly varied. It remains to be seen how much of this could be carried through to a full-length release but as an EP this easily gets a recommendation.

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