By: Hope Ankney
Pressing play on Yankee Roses’ Summer 2018 EP is like opening a flip-book, watching as every page uses minute progression in detail to tell a story. It carries a nostalgic dust that is heard in the transition of the four tracks – a nostalgia that is only found in memories and experiences that are starting to yellow near the edges. The EP proves to be a nice treat to any traveler both physical and mental, and the longer one listens the more responsive they become to its charm.
Originating from Miami but finding root in Atlanta, Yankee Roses is full of experimental folk that howls and croons their way through the scene. Labeling their latest release, Summer 2018, a demo more than an actual EP seems to be an understatement as the project is seamless and powerful in its delivery. The fast-paced guitars, harmonic strings, and lyrics that feel more like a memoir than simple tunes coincide smoothly with the vocalist’s consistent warble.
The record opens with the rhythmically simple “Small Town” that progressives through its folk roots to tell a story that sets the tone for the rest of the project, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
“Succulents” follows with a more personal approach, allowing the vocals to echo as if the listener is in the room as they’re recording the take. A pleasant surprise shifts halfway through as the lead singer begins to croon in spanish, honing in on the cultural foundation of the Folk genre.
“Where Have All The Avergae People Gone” is the single track featured that isn’t written by George Geanuracos or performed by Yankee Roses. Being the brain child of Dennis Linde and sang by Roger Miller, there’s a definitive crossover to the sound of the record. The song is very reminiscent of classic country artists like George Jones and Willie Nelson. It follows the same method country music utilizes in it’s work by telling a story in it’s rawest and most personal tone. “Where Have All The AveragePeople Gone” discusses the contrast between what people think of Miller, and he’s left wondering where all the average people have gone – leaving him in their wake.
The closer, “A Modest Offering for the Old Gods,” is the stand-out of the EP. Being an only instrumental track, it holds a certain ambiance to it that isn’t necessarily found in the tracks prior. The softness that is the strings under laid a simple, yet alluring finger-plucked guitar leads one to self-reflection. Maybe that’s its purpose. Maybe this leveling of the mind, a digression from the rest of the project, is at its most, a modest offering for the old gods. Perhaps it doesn’t have to have a vocal overlay to speak to the listener.
Yankee Roses’ Summer 2018 EP, at its foundation, is a journey through reflection and progression. It doesn’t have to beg to be played. It conveys itself clearly. As crooned in the EP, “all the years we felt like we were dying can be chalked up to denying that we’re slowly getting better because growing slowly looks too much like standing still.” That’s the overarching theme of Yankee Roses freshest release. That’s what should be expressed.