by Jean-Stephane Beriot
Yellow Yesterday used to be the charming, yet lonesome one-man band of Andrés Ibarra Rios better known as Chelito. In the beginning of 2009 we described his homonym debut as “the soundtrack to a Sundance movie.” I’m happy to inform you that both Chelito and our descriptive writing have grown into the communion of their respective mediums. Yellow Yesterday (named after The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” and “Yesterday”) is a now a four-piece band that has also expanded its soundscape significantly. This is not to say the band has found firm ground; their articulation is still uneven, but not too bad for a band known for its "little songs."
An earlier CF track review of “Y Es Así” revealed the band had found “the warmth of sunlight, the complexity of instruments, and the comfort of the Spanish language.” #2, the band’s sophomore EP, arrives with hummable effervescence and striking nuances of immediacy. The first two tracks are self-revisions from the band’s English-language debut, which immediately suggests they’re pointing towards reformation. It’s not that Yellow Yesterday is trying to hang on to its past, they’re just taking a glimpse back to their beginnings for melodic alignment and perhaps rejoice their arsenal echelon. Both tracks are elevated into more profound and purposeful pieces, to such an extent that the original cuts play back as sketchy rough drafts. Above all, it’s the band’s decision to recondition the songs in the Spanish language that finds the band so disarmingly sincere.
Album highlight “Mi Papel” is a beguiling track in "Window Seat" mode that’s not too far apart from The Decemberists or some of the earlier stuff from Deerhunter. While there’s nothing really unique in the band’s methods or technique, the band succeeds in the innate simplicity of its chords, revealing polished synths, and stirring echoes. The anthemic and unassuming “Corres Deprisa” sounds like a leftover off Zurdok’s Hombre Sintetizador, and that’s the nicest thing I could possibly say to an up-and-coming band. Yellow Yesterday is still too inclined to the hipster totem (the handclapping in “Ciudad” is irksome), but they’re committed to their moody sound and unadorned lyrics, a more than respectable approach to songcraft. Between #2 and their recent contribution to Little Richard of the Valley (a tribute to Ricardo Valenzuela Reyes), the band is close to pretty close to finding its purpose.