The Yum Yum Tree, the brainchild of Texas transplant Andy Gish, has been an edgy pop mainstay in Atlanta since its inception in 2000. Known for its infectious pop (some may say “confectuous” – the band distributes candy at its shows), the band’s name has become synonymous with catchy hooks and crunchy guitars.
The band’s rise in 2000-2002 was meteoric, going from four-track sketches to regular rotation in a matter of weeks. – even before a regular lineup was in place! Eventually, permanent members were installed, an EP was recorded, and the band became a popular live draw around Atlanta.
The band would release its first full release, Reverse Engines, in 2002, to much critical acclaim. The record made the Best of 2002 lists in both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Creative Loafing, and dented college radio playlists around the country. The band was also cited for its energetic live performances.
After a series of lineup changes, the band released The Tetherball EP in 2005. Again, the record was received favorably at home and abroad, showing that the band’s early success was no fluke.
2007 marks the release of the band’s second full-length record, and its first on the Two Sheds label. Paint by Numbers was recorded by Jason NeSmith (of Casper & the Cookies) at his Bel Air Studios in Athens, and was mixed by Curt Wells at Big Ed’s Used Farms in Atlanta. The artwork features the fabulous “One Tree Hill” by Yi Wen Seow of New Zealand.
The band’s current line-up is its most accomplished version yet. Drummer Alex Pilson is a veteran of a number of Atlanta bands, dating back 15 years. John McNicholas (who also performs as a solo artist, and as a side musician for Mary O. Harrison) and Michelle Friedman (who also performs under the moniker Spy Magnet) are recent, welcome additions to the band.
Andy Gish - bass, vocals
Alex Pilson - drums
John McNicholas - guitar, vocals
Michelle Friedman - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Paint By Numbers (2007, Two Sheds Music) - LP
The Tetherball EP (2005, self release) - EP
Reverse Engines (2002, self release) - LP
The Yum Yum Tree EP (2000, self release) - EP
We Are All Ears - SE Performer Reviews PBN
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Indie-pop band The Yum Yum Tree has been making waves for years now, being featured on best-of lists...Indie-pop band The Yum Yum Tree has been making waves for years now, being featured on best-of lists and regaled in their native Atlanta and beyond. Paint by Numbers, released in October, is a testament to the hype, proudly proving that all the buzz and all the recognition surrounding the band is rightfully deserved.
Numbers, The Yum Yum Tree's second LP, is fueled with the same grit and guts expected of the excitable quartet, yet there is something new about their latest release. The album differs from previous efforts in that the band used to be about the business of getting your attention. Now that they know that they have it, the band seeks to have its way with it.
The result is 13 songs that please the ear as much as they pierce it. The band's jolting, schizophrenic guitars swerve from punk ("Inevitable") to new wave ("Tetherball") to even '50s doo-wop ("Februaries" and "Factor Me Out") in the span of less than an hour. But despite the wild ride, the listener is left wanting more.
And of course, no Yum Yum Tree review is complete without a few words on singer Andy Gish. Her voice is in top form all throughout the record. She no longer sounds like a particularly pissed Hope Sandoval and has fully emerged with her own vulnerable, passionate sound.
The Yum Yum Tree no longer has to worry about getting out attention. We are all ears. (Two Sheds Music)
TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS (Atlanta Journal Constitution
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The Yum Yum Tree TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS: A three-fer night that gets you three of Atlanta's best indie...The Yum Yum Tree
TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS: A three-fer night that gets you three of Atlanta's best indie rock bands (the Orphins and Jupiter Watts are on the bill, too). It's also a celebration of the new CD from the Yum Yum Tree called "Paint by Numbers." The band is now a quartet, but it's still led by singer and songwriter Andy Gish and the innuendo in her tough-yet-vulnerable voice. Gish gets a perfect backdrop from the guitars that sting and swirl, but it's that voice, delivering hooks as big as a mighty oak, that holds it all together.
Editor’s Pick || Paint By Numbers
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Going on some seven years now, the Yum Yum Tree has been bringing a hard edged pop-rock sound to the...Going on some seven years now, the Yum Yum Tree has been bringing a hard edged pop-rock sound to their fanbase in Atlanta on a virtual silver platter of catchiness. Already garnering praise among the well-informed Internet zines and even the mainstream with the likes of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution unleashing big kudos upon the band, the group is devilishly clever with heart-string-pulling rock ballads on "Paint By Numbers". Michelle Friedman is a recent addition and her vocals, guitar work, and keyboards take the band to a new soaring height. I was doubtful that this band could supercede the seminal apex in their "The Tetherball" EP released two years ago, but boy was I wrong.
Best of 2005-2006
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TYYT is picked as one of 5 top local acts from the AJC. "One of Atlanta's finest rocking pop band...TYYT is picked as one of 5 top local acts from the AJC.
"One of Atlanta's finest rocking pop bands. Frontwoman Andy Gish's distinctive voice -- a girlish, insinuating, sugar-coated sneer -- is still one of the band's best assetts, but she cooks up some pretty memorable tunes too."
The Atlanta Journal Constitution's 2005-2006 'Ultimate Guide' Picks for Local Acts
Year End Best Of
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TYYT's debut LP Reverse Engines is picked for the Creative Loafing Honor Roll 2002- "Year End Best O...TYYT's debut LP Reverse Engines is picked for the Creative Loafing Honor Roll 2002- "Year End Best Of" For album releases.
" The Yum Yum Tree -- "Reverse Engines," [is] the band's snappy full-length debut. The engaging songs of vocalist Andy Gish and her
little-girl-with-attitude vocals make this one of the best local albums you're likely to hear this year.
Shane Harrison" - Atlanta Journal Constitution - March 2002
Gish Says Goodnight
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"I feel like we lost Syd Barrett twice," says singer/songwriter Andy Gish. "Once, beginning in the l..."I feel like we lost Syd Barrett twice," says singer/songwriter Andy Gish. "Once, beginning in the late '60s, when LSD literally began taking months of time from his memory and he could no longer function as an artist. But then we lost him again in July for good. I knew he was sick, and even though he was not writing songs for us anymore, the loss feels the same."
As a tribute to the legendary Pink Floyd founder, Gish gathered an impressive slate of fellow Barrett fans and planned an evening of his music, with the proceeds to benefit Nuci's Space (www.nuci.org) in Athens. "Historically, many of our most treasured artists and musicians have suffered from issues of mental health. Nuci's Space offers a comfortable place where musicians can converge and receive support and treatment that otherwise would not be available to them. Had Syd been a young artist living in Georgia today, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd wandered into Nuci's Space from time to time."
Gish, who leads the clever pop band the Yum Yum Tree, has been a dedicated Barrett fan for years. In 2004, she made a journey to Cambridge, England, to see the major Syd sites. No, she didn't meet the reclusive artist, but that wasn't the goal. "I guess, because he was out of the limelight before I was even born, I had to see Cambridge for myself to actually believe it. Just knowing that he was there somewhere in that town made the streets kind of magical.
"Honestly," she concludes, "He would probably think it's silly that we would bother to put on a tribute show in his honor. So this show is more about us sharing what he gave us and what he left us with. He only produced music for less than eight years, but he left a huge impression on us all."
Goodnight Madcap: A Tribute To Syd Barrett features the Yum Yum Tree, the Sweetloves, Mike Wright, Richard Parsons and more at the Earl. $7. Sat., Aug. 26. 8 p.m. (doors). 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950
The Tetherball EP
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The Yum Yum Tree - The Tetherball EP (Independently released CD EP, Pop) Instantly likable girl pop...The Yum Yum Tree - The Tetherball EP (Independently released CD EP, Pop) Instantly likable girl pop. Led by Andy Gish, this Atlanta trio
is treading in territory similar to ultra poppy bands like Magnapop. Gish's songs are straightforward and simple...and extremely catchy.
Buzzsaw guitars and steady rhythms support upbeat tunes that are a pure feelgood experience. The title track kicks ass. Rounding out
the band are Alex Pilson (drums) and Tim Hill (guitar). This EP will whet the appetite of many for the band's next full-length release...
(Rating: 4++++ of 5)
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"Ear candy: The Yum Yum Tree glam it up on their new 11-song CD Reverse Engines, dolling up their en..."Ear candy: The Yum Yum Tree glam it up on their new 11-song CD Reverse Engines, dolling up their endearing femme-pop with a dark
undercurrent of switchblade guitars, shadowy textures and singer Andy Gish's alluring air of mystery. The best cuts are the sparest and
most direct, where her seductive vocals draw you in the deepest."
Rock The Monkey
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It's unlikely you'll ever find hometown celeb Elton John joining bands on stage down at the 9 Lives ...It's unlikely you'll ever find hometown celeb Elton John joining bands on stage down at the 9 Lives Saloon. But in recent months another international pop star, Peter Gabriel, has taken great interest in jamming with some other locals.
As previously reported in CL, Gabriel has visited Georgia State University's Language Research Center to explore the possibility of collaborating musically with the highly communicative bonobo apes there.
Though for now, the center, at Gabriel's request, remains fairly tight-lipped about the musician's stay, another member of the local music community -- that is, in addition to the apes -- was on hand at one of the Gabriel/ape duets. Human singer/bassist Andy Gish, who leads local pop trio the Yum Yum Tree, attended a Thanksgiving potluck last year at the center, which coincided with Gabriel's first of three visits so far.
According to Gish, Gabriel and a female bonobo named Panbanisha performed a duet after dinner using identical keyboards. "It was wonderful," she says, of the meeting between the ape and the man who already has played a significant role in expanding the boundaries of western music by popularizing world beats. "[Gabriel] started playing and it was very much like his more angelic stuff, with a Passion [Gabriel's soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ] feel to it. They set one up for [Panbanisha] and turned it on, and she started to play. She actually used both hands and was in key most of the time. She didn't do chords or anything, but she used more than one note at a time. It sounded like she was playing slow little leads. She was generally interested. I wouldn't say it was like jazz musicians listening to each other or anything, but I got the feeling she went over and played it because he was playing."
Gish, who moved to Atlanta from Houston in 1998 to study the apes as a Georgia State grad student, briefly did research at the center before dropping out to pursue music. Though no longer connected to the center, Gish attended the dinner with a friend who still works there. Gabriel, who was accompanied by his daughter, sat across from Gish at dinner, and they discussed Gabriel's former group Genesis and other subjects.
Having tested the waters in November, Gabriel has since returned in December and February to further pursue the project and record the collaborations. During these visits, Gabriel also has played music with a male ape named Kanzi. While center spokeswoman Kim MacQueen confirmed Gabriel's project is ongoing, she had no further information on how far along Gabriel is with the project, when he plans to return to continue his work and when, or in what form, the recordings will be released. She did, however, say, "Panbanisha loved playing with Peter. I saw that with my own eyes."
Gabriel, currently completing what's assumed to be an all-human pop album, could not be reached for comment.
Since 1981, the center has studied the great apes (specifically, bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans) to gain a deeper understanding of how language is acquired. By placing the apes in a language-structured environment from birth, researchers have discovered they can communicate using symbols on a keyboard and develop the language comprehension skills of a 3-year-old human child. That, in turn, led to the understanding that language is rooted in infancy and the foundation for achieving it lies with comprehension rather than an ability to speak, according to the center's website.
Gabriel first became interested in coming to Georgia State when he learned about the remarkable abilities of the center's bonobos. Bonobos are thought to be closer to humans than other apes in that they are bipedal and have anatomical similarities to pre-human species. In addition, where most apes tend to live in small groups, bonobos form larger societies where cohesion is facilitated by a communication that approaches language. These factors made the bonobos ideal for the center's research into human language development.
"They're perhaps the most intelligent apes on Earth because of the environment they grew up in," Gish says, "so I think that's why he was interested. They've had keyboards for years, and they do play music for them all the time.
The Yum Yum Tree Put Four Gears In Reverse
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BY LEE SMITH Spring is here, and as dogwoods bud in Atlanta, the Yum Yum Tree has yielded a health...BY LEE SMITH
Spring is here, and as dogwoods bud in Atlanta, the Yum Yum Tree has yielded a healthy crop of new songs. Reverse Engines, recorded
last fall by Jason NeSmith (the Yeah!, Casper Fandango) at his Magic Foot Studio in Athens, is an expansive, darkly cinematic 11-track
collection featuring the fruit of the bands' remarkable growth since its self-titled EP released early last year. That hastily released four-song
album landed the band in heavy rotation on Album 88. "We didn't even have a regular guitar player yet," says Andy Gish,
vocalist/bassist/songwriter for the band. "I just sent the disc in, and they started playing it. So there's proof that they actually do open unsolicited
mail there." Almost immediately, the band was invited to open for national touring acts, often presenting a more unified and professional show
than the headliners. Their mix of spiraling guitars -- tempered in the tradition of the Pixies, with the sparkling yet slightly menacing psychedelia
of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd -- proved to be varied enough to mesh well bands as diverse as Pontius Co-Pilot and Eleni Mandell. In her native Texas,
Gish was a member of prog-rock band the Lost Episodes for eight years before moving to Atlanta to form the Yum Yum Tree in the fall of 2000 with
Georgia residents Matt Harr (drums) and Kent Honea (guitar). With the addition of guitarist Scott Lewis, the quartet has solidified a pleasingly
tight presentation of catchy, crunchy pop songs with a slightly creepy, mysterious edge. "Mystery is good," says Gish. "We don't have to spell out
everything, and I think that people who enjoy us are able to fill in some lines here and there."
Typicals sets are 40-50 minutes, but can be expanded to 90 minutes where needed.
Throw Me Out The Window
Factor Me Out
Paint By Numbers
What Would John Carter Do
There are no upcoming dates at this time.