Bill Ryder-Jones : Yawny Yawn26.07.2019 : Domino
Freud defined mourning as the conscious grief of losing a specific loved object, and melancholia as an unconscious response to a loss the sufferer cannot fully comprehend or identify. Although the lyrics often have a focus, it is the latter mood, a sense of fragility due to absence, that defines the music recorded for Bill Ryder-Jones' fifth studio album, Yawny Yawn.
The songs are reworked versions of those found on his last album, Yawn - released late last year and noted as 'moving, painful and elating in equal measure' by Alex Petridis in a five star Guardian review.
The new recordings have been even further dissected from the spare originals; each composition has been cut back to a soul-stirring essence using piano and voice, with other instrumentation used frugally to add light and shade. The same rare emotive dexterity Talk Talk's Mark Hollis found for his first and only solo LP is evident.
Don't be Scared, I Love You - with its aching, plaintive line of resolution, 'You said something perfect, with six words and one kiss' - is a standout long moment of remembered solace, but the whole set flows by in harmony, lamenting yet majestic.
These ten re-imagined tracks confirm Bill Ryder-Jones as a singer-songwriter whose work has depth and honesty; able to gracefully share emotion through lyrics and music to profound effect. This album deserves your full attention. Listened to alone in the quiet of a summer night - from the doleful, softly melodic opener, There's Something on Your Mind, to the last notes of Happy Song - Yawny Yawn is a quixotic drift of melancholic beauty.
BILL RYDER-JONES I Don't be Scared, I Love You