Very few musicians capture the gritty warts 'n all details of growing up and trying to grasp a sense of self quite like George van den Broek, better known as Yellow Days.
"The reason why I make music is to understand myself and the world around me," sums up the Manchester-raised, Surrey-based musician, whose candid, soul-doused songs have guided a spotlight on him since emerging in 2016.
On 2017's debut EP 'Harmless Melodies' and the full-length project 'Is Everything Okay In Your World?', we witnessed the first steps in van den Broek's coming-of-age story. Both works, written and recorded in his garden shed and released via Good Years, vividly document new relationships blooming and old ones fizzing out.
At sixteen, George would come home from school and retreat to his
self-made home studio. He dropped out of college and flunked his exams.
He returns to that same studio to self-teach himself the piano, guitar, bass and the fundamentals of production. "I just want to become a full producer-songwriter; someone who can play everything."
George is in possession of a rich, smoke-stained voice, which lends itself neatly to stripped-down soul or frenzied psych. Outside of Yellow Days, he also makes beats and hip-hop instrumentals, and a 2017 collaboration with Irish rapper Rejjie Snow ('Lately I') hints at another future path to head down. "[Hip-hop] is something I really want to delve into the future. It's within my goals."
But while his work transgresses simple categorisation, the feeling within these songs is easier to capture. "I just see music as something that is honest and pure. It's all about feelings and truth and honesty," he states. He relates to old-school heroes like Ray Charles and Billie Holiday; singers who allow the cracks and imperfections to show through their emotion. And he aligns himself with fellow modern-day self-starters like Mac DeMarco and Tame Impala's Kevin Parker, independent forces who've perfected their own, untouchable sound. "They're all well-read musicians who have a vision, and that's what music should be about. It's not a vanity project, it's some real shit."
Sincerity lines the seams of van den Broek's songs, and he's been rightly praised for his ability to detail struggles with mental health, especially at a time when speaking up is paramount. "I can talk about my feelings 'til the sun goes down with my friends," he laughs, but he admits that music, which he describes as a "diary", is his one true outlet for expression. "I love to just assess my own human condition; why I act a certain way. That debate constantly goes on in my music."
His next project, an album through Columbia Records, is all about "my time right now." Currently being recorded in fuller studio environments that the, now nineteen year old, van dan Broek has long been aspiring to make music in - with full respect to the shed back home - it's set to contain the same light versus dark sparring match that defines his finest songs so far.
"The whole point of Yellow Days is to be a project about youth," he states. "It's all about being young and having this overwhelming sense of emotion, this confusion, all heading towards an eventual goal of happiness."
"It's all about the hope within."
11 Jul, 2019
Yellow Days new single 'It's Real Love' is featured in The Fader.
26 Jun, 2019
Stormzy will headline at Pyramid Stage on Friday night at Glastonbury Festival, and the day features a packed line-up of Primary Talent International artists.
14.00-14.40: Yellow Days (William's Green)
14.00-15.00: The Wombats (Other Stage)
15.00-16.30: Connie Constance (Left Field)
16.00-16.40: Sundara Karma (Williams Green)
16.30-17.00: Dylan Cartlidge (The Rabbit Hole)
16.50-17.55: Kuenta (Glade)
19.00-19.40: Sunflower Bean (William's Green)
19.00-19.45: Gaffa Tape Sandy (The Unfairground)
19.20-20.20: Swimming Girls (Avalon Cafe Stage)
20.00-21.00: Dub Pistols (Glade)
20.15-21.15: Two Door Cinema Club (Other Stage)
21.00-22.00: Pale Waves (John Peel Stage)
22.15-23.45: Stormzy (Pyramid Stage)
23.00-00.00: Mollie Collins (The Temple)
00.00-00.45: Jamz Supernova (Shangri-La)
01.00-02.00: Snow B2B Jamz Supernova (The Gas Tower)
01.15-02.45: Pinty (Stonebridge)
03.30-04.30: Kasra B2B Randall (The Temple)
21 Jun, 2019
Yellow Days have announced European tour dates for October.
02 May, 2019
Mac DeMarco's show at Dreamland, Margate on 29th June, will also feature Primary Talent International artists:
...Kirin J Callinan
07 Jan, 2019
Yellow Days is featured in The Guardian's list of 'Rising Stars of Culture, Science & Food 2019'.
26 Nov, 2018
Yellow Days performed at BBC Radio 1's 'Piano Sessions' for Phil Taggart.
Click the link below to listen.
23 Oct, 2018
Yellow Days shares his new video for 'How Can I Love You?'.
01 Oct, 2018
Yellow Days will play the London Pop-Up Shop in Shoreditch, London on Wednesday 3rd October, and entry will be free.
30 Sep, 2018
Yellow Days' new track 'How Can I Love You?' is featured in Pitchfork. See him live at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Paris in November.
13 Jul, 2018
The award winning Latitude festival takes place at Henham Park in Suffolk from 13th to 15th July, and features many Primary Talent International artists, including the Sunday night headliners Alt-J.
Friday 13th July
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Saturday 14th July
Sunday 15th July
...and on other days yet to be announced.
...Gaffa Tape Sandy
|16 Oct 19||ADE||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|17 Oct 19||Jazz Cafe||London|
|18 Oct 19||Saalchen||Berlin, Germany|
|20 Oct 19||Le Cafe de la Danse||Paris, France|