Lets cut to the chase here – Yellow Fever are perhaps the best new band I have encountered this year. As new music editor, I receive floods of emails daily on new bands supposedly worthy of attention, but these guys are the real deal. This band is talent, musical ability, commitment and creativity, in one very young, Oxford-based package.
I came across Yellow Fever recently in an unassuming country pub, offering a modest audience their sonic wares. They gave an enrapturing performance. It was energetic, competent, dynamic, and fully committed to the moment. The group were also quietly charismatic, and young enough to not know quite how very good they are, which of course makes them all the more appealing.
Yellow Fever’s music is guitar centric per se, but it fuses such a diverse array of styles, genres and influences. Tropical, math, surf and hi-life influences are obvious, along with poly-rhythms, and excellent usage of effects units and cowbells. The music is upbeat yet clever, multi-layered and complex, and sonically speaking incredibly clever. Think Bloc Party meets Vampire Weekend and you’re perhaps some of the way there.
Lyrically, Yellow Fever’s work is also strong, tackling a range of issues with a subtle poetry, astuteness and sensitivity that is uncommon in musicians generally, yet alone ones so young. The lyrics are perhaps a little earnest at times, but they are full of clever assonance and alliteration, and are delivered with quiet passion.
Yellow Fever are next set to play the main stage at Truck Festival this coming weekend, and can be seen gigging around Oxford regularly. The band are not currently signed, but this writer certainly expects big things from Yellow Fever in the near future.