Yang - Rejoice! CD

SKU Rune 524
Frédéric L’Epée – guitars, keyboards, chorus
Laurent James – guitars, voice, chorus
Nico Gomez – bass, chorus
Volodia Brice – drums
Carla Kihlstedt – voice, chorus

According to most professional journalists, comparisons are odious and according to most professional musicians, critics are useless.

But what happens when a critic makes a comparison that turns out to be useful and also transformative in the most positive way?

What primarily gives Rejoice! its sound and its shape came when an online reviewer compared Yang’s previous album, Designed for Disaster, to the dark and psychologically disturbing work of the Bay Area band Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. And while there are similarities, for sure, the notion struck Yang guitarist and composer Frédéric L'Épée as odd, given that he had never heard — or even heard of — his American counterparts. Intrigued, he decided to listen, and found not just a team of kindred spirits, but the perfect singer to bring life to his songs.

“I didn’t know them, so when I saw this review, I said ‘Okay, what is this band? Is it something that I’ve missed?’” L'Épée notes, laughing. “And, yes, it really was something I’d missed.

Frédéric L'Épée formed his first serious band, Shylock, while in his teens and waxed two now highly collectible albums with that formation in the mid 70s; moving on to the guitar-centric combo Philharmonie, who existed from 1987-1998 and which produced a further five full-length releases.

Since 2004, he has been leading and working with the more ‘rock’ oriented quartet Yang and Rejoice! is their fifth album.

“I don’t like the sound of my own voice,” the bandleader continues, and so for most of its existence Yang has focused primarily on instrumental music. On Designed for Disaster, however, the German singer Ayse Cansu Tanrikulu added her jazz-inflected phrasing to five tracks, and now on Rejoice!, Sleepytime violinist and singer Carla Kihlstedt has come on board for most of the album.

It’s an ideal match, and one that wound up shaping Rejoice! far more than L'Épée had intended. In writing Designed for Disaster, he explains, he concerned himself with lyrics that were “meant to communicate an impression but not a meaning”. But after having discovered Kihlstedt, he opted to follow a different path.

“I started to write the words like I did with Designed for Disaster; not with apparent meaning, but through the sound more than anything. But as soon as Carla accepted, I started to have her voice in my mind. So as soon as I started to write, I heard her singing at the moment I was writing. This forced me to search for the reason inside, because I realized that I wanted her to understand what I was saying, to give all the expression that I wanted. So this is one of the many reasons I started to write things with meanings, because I wanted her to be driven by these meanings.”

Composed in the wake of Covid and as Fascism, Wars and Climate crises globally rise, Rejoice! offers a healing response for surviving this New Dark Age. Yang reveals music's power to purge darkness from our souls. In Rejoice!, L'Epee reminds us to embrace whatever beauty and light the world retains, and to transform the darkness into art.

  • LabelCuneiform
  • UPC045775052427
Your Price $15.00

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