Design By Humans
Published On: Wed, May 12th, 2021

Beatnik Neon: Yoreself

Beatnik Neon
(Beatnik Neon)

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Slow piano arpeggio, atmospheric vocals that at first bubble forth unintelligibly then come clear, start the first song here, “Colors.” Swirling strings, a slow-reaching bass, a crunchy-clap backing, and then a soaring electric add-in make for a very poignant opener.

Beatnik Neon is the duo of percussion, synth, guitarist/bassist Nolan Farmer and cellist, piano player Yann McBreton. Across the eight tunes of this new full length from them, Yoreself, they employ a handful of other musicians to help them out, as Christine Nicole does, sailing her outstanding vocals above the first truly commercial stab here, “Rag and Bone.” Again, Farmer manages perfectly placed guitar fills and well-placed percussion while McBreton plinks forward with piano.

We get even better piano from McBreton on “Attic,” which is pretty much a solo moment for him to tickle the ivories halfway through Yoreself. The title track is a softly strummed ballad, featuring some echoey doubled-vocal and some of the tastiest electric slipping and sliding from Farmer. The swirl of vocals, the high rising cello backing, that odd stuttering percussion, piano additions; it’s undoubtedly the centerpiece of this collection.

Definite cello cuts and plodding piano provide the main bed for the last tune, a true modern classical gem, “Nocturne.” Drums and a guitar lead sail in a few steps of the way in, then we are back to the cello, making its sad, low mark. I just love the overdriven guitar making its mark mixed with the classical, ambient, and rock (the cello plucking is also a nice touch). It’s a wonderful end to the equally wonderful, Yoreself.

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Beatnik Neon: Yoreself