The new single from South London five-piece yawwn has been on repeat at Hidden Herd HQ ever since the band put in a scintillating performance at the final Lost In The Manor vs Hidden Herd night of 2017.
‘Partisan’ – produced by Wimbledon native Lou E – is the first track off the band’s forthcoming EP and is a kaleidoscopic burst of psych-flecked wonk-pop that flaunts a stratospheric chorus. Think UMO covering Bowie circa ‘Lodger’.
With the tune released TODAY and sure to keep you grooving from dusk till yawwn, we spoke to the new quintet’s singer Toby Hasler-Winter about their past, present and future.
‘Partisan’ is psych-tinged pop perfection. How did the track come about?
“Rory (Rory Jones, guitar) and Simon Glancy (of Escapists) had written this instrumental before we actually started working together. It was a tight beat with bass, keys and guitar, sitting in a folder with no lyrics and no melody. It ended up being the first song we got really excited about. I took it home with this sense of an idea for it, and some lyrics I’d been working on, and they fell right into place. Once we had that basis for the track we jammed it in rehearsal and pulled out the mid-8 we knew it needed. That process really set us on our way to figuring out how we all fit together as players.”
How did yawwn start out?
“It started out in the basement of the Notting Hill Arts Club, sweating and singing Jungle and Bombay Bicycle Club at each other, convincing each other we could do it just as well, and spending the next two years plugging away, wrestling our efforts into existence. Rory and I went back a few years, Tom (Tom Baxter, bass) and Jack (Jack Yardley, drums) and I went right back to school, where I’d played in bands with Tom since we were 14, and I’d always said to Jack I wanted him in my next project – so we managed to convince him playing with us wouldn’t interfere with his jazz. We’d almost stopped looking for a fifth member when Mike (Mike Barnes, keys and guitar), a friend of Rory’s, came to our show and we pulled him in after he pulled me aside for a chat about the show which lasted most of the night. In another sense though, it all began with very loud, very late nights in our rehearsal space in South Wimbledon, which is why we wanted to bring people there for Club Yawwn and the release of our first single. It’s where it was born.”
What inspired your name?
“We thought it’d be funny to see how many people took the bait.”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
“Caribou. Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame Impala have had an impact from the beginning. Bowie would be hard to leave out, and The Flaming Lips have had a pretty lasting effect on my writing, even if it isn’t very apparent.”
Any other new artists you have played with and would recommend?
“Just before Christmas we spent a whirlwind week on tour with Kane Strang, who writes hooks that run around your head on a loop, but you really don’t mind; by the end of the tour, we knew most of the tunes back to front. Swimming Tapes who were on the bill with us in London. Escapists, who we are looking forward to playing with later this month at Camden Assembly – and we’re all really digging Japanese Breakfast at the moment, she’s awesome live. Since playing with them at the Hidden Herd show in December, we’ve been plugging into loads of tracks by our new friends SHEIKH, Llovers and Private Life too.”
And finally, what does the future hold for yawwn?
“We’re setting up a mattress showroom with a sale that never ends.”