By JESSICA PEREZ, Staff Writer
Up-and-coming Australian singer/songwriter Yates belongs to a genre all his own — literally. He put out a few singles in 2014, which gave music bloggers a taste of his style, something they’ve come to describe as “SOUP” (a combination of soul and pop). Indie label Sweat It Out decided to savor the SOUP flavor by signing Yates and giving him a record deal. His debut EP, Mercury, was subsequently released on March 4.
The first track on the EP is titled “Virtue,” which describes being swallowed up by someone’s love. It starts with just a strumming guitar and Yate’s reverberating voice. He adds some electric instruments, putting the listener in a head-bopping trance, and the synthesizers come in with the chorus. Yates put out an official video for this on Jan. 29. The black and white footage makes the song feel even more melancholy than it did without the visual.
Song number two, “Mercury,” is another captivating melody. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a crackling fire in the background, which is appropriate because the lyrics mention that Yates is burning. He explains that he knows love is destructive, but he can’t help how he feels because he’s only human. Yates also released an official video for this one on March 10.
Each of these songs has a hint of classic surf guitar mixed with contemporary synth-pop. The EP’s third track, “Dive,” might be the epitome of this. Yates uses a start and stop rhythm, which helps build up the song’s intensity as he brings the beat back in. Again, the lyrics talk about the dangers of jumping into love headfirst.
“Too Far Away” and “Cake” stick with the record’s main themes: love, pain and regret. They maintain Yates’s signature combo of electronic effects and beach vibes, stacked with layers of smooth, echoing vocals.
Yates refers to this collection as the first chapter of his musical series. With five tracks and a runtime of just 17 minutes, it certainly has people hungry for more.