Yahweh
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Yahweh

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"Tug of Love Review"

More Snow Patrol than Beck, this is edgy indie folk that uses synths to add bite. Wrapped in brown paper with a string tie, Tug of Love, while a CD, is split into two sides - Dear Green Place and The Long Plain.

'Glasgow Smiles Better' with its earnest vocals and guitar strums is classic Snow Patrol with lyrics like 'If you think the radio's nice'.

'The Wee Ending' uses beats while there's drum 'n' bass in 'King of Hillhead' and bird sounds in Listen. Hungover on a Sunday afternoon, this CD is just the ticket.

The album launch is on Sunday, Mono, Glasgow.

(Rick Fulton) - Daily Record


"Interview in The Skinny Magazine"

Written by: Nick Mitchell
Published: Fri 03 Apr 2009


By recording the soundtrack of his move from small town to big city, Lewis Cook has created a brilliantly resonant debut album. Nick Mitchell talks to the young talent behind Yahweh

Lewis Cook has a level-headedness that belies his youth. When most teenagers fly the family nest for the boundless freedom of university life, their first year away from home is spent drinking, watching daytime TV, attending the occasional lecture, boiling pasta, and more drinking. But the 18-year-old Cook – whose own nest-exit took him from the quaint Dumfriesshire town of Moffat to the bright lights and rain-sodden streets of Glasgow – actually did something productive with all that freedom: he recorded a debut album under his musical moniker, Yahweh.

While Cook admits that juggling an academic and musical career “can be hard, especially when we're busy and there are essays to be handed in”, the musical assignment he produced (titled Tug of Love) is a staggeringly assured debut. I ask him if people were surprised when they found out his age. “It's one of these things that can either act in your favour or be a hindrance,” he replies. “As much as there are the so-called benefits of youth on my side, there's always the risk of not being taken seriously. As a result it's not something I often mention to people... maybe I should be exploiting it more!”

Tug of Love can be read as a literal tug of love between the lively metropolis of his present life and the placid town of his upbringing: the first half of the LP is dedicated to Glasgow, the second to Moffat. “It's quite an introspective record in a lot of ways and I decided to try and relate its format to the kind of split life I felt I'd spent over the course of writing and recording it,” Cook explains. “Most of the sounds on the first side of the album are immediate, more up-tempo and mostly about experiences in Glasgow, whereas the sounds on the second half are more subtle and are about experiences when I lived in the country.”

Back “in the country” as a youngster, the lack of diversions led to many hours spent in his room “with headphones on playing around with different sounds”. That willingness to try out contrasting styles brought together elements of Mogwai’s minimal soundscapes and Boards of Canada’s tarnished electronica in his songs. But it is that other name-checked Scottish band of the past decade, Arab Strap, who are the closest musical relatives to Yahweh’s gutsy alt-folk. “When I was 14 I sent an e-mail to Aidan Moffat asking if my age would stop me from getting in to see their acoustic request show,” Cook recalls. “It was at Sleazy's in Glasgow so I couldn't get in but he sent me a letter with a couple of CDs. I was made up!”

Although Cook recorded almost the entire album alone in his bedroom, on an assortment of (pause for breath) guitars, maracas, drums, synths, sticks, toys, a programmer, harmonium, glockenspiel, banjo, violin, sitar and stapler, Yahweh is a collective that swells in number for live shows. “Tug of Love was definitely a solo project and is to be viewed as a complete piece," Cook says, "but when we play live, the four of us are all part of Yahweh and everyone contributes to the re-invention of the tracks on the album.”

With two more releases “lined up in his head as concepts” and four years of study to look forward to, it looks certain Cook will have no trouble keeping busy. The only problem might be one or two rather eccentric fans, but that’s inevitable when you name your band after the English version of the Hebrew word for God. “Every so often I'll get a message opening with ‘shalom’,” Cook says. “There was a woman from America who was literally messaging me every day with pictures of her and her children and quotes from the Bible written below... that was pretty strange.”
- The Skinny


"Stereokill.net - Wickerman review"

Much of Stereokill’s Wickerman weekend was spent in the Solus Tent, a showcase for up-and-coming Scottish bands (stage-managed by Chris Connick, the former guitarist of now sadly-defunct rising starsDe Rosa. Listen to our interview with him here). The first band we saw, based on a vague recommendation from a friend, turned out to be one of the best of the weekend.
The act in question was Yahweh, a Glasgow alt-folk band led by songwriter Lewis Cook. Combining elements of folk, electronica and post-rock, their polished and atmospheric sound and winning combination of guitars and synths with cello and harmonium, proved hugely compelling. Yahweh were easily one of the most impressive acts of the festival, and certainly an act to keep an eye on. - Stereokill.net


"isthismusic.com - Wickerman Review"

First real Wicker-moment comes in the shape of Yahweh [Solus]. Their opening number builds on a wonderful folky groove, both toe-tapping and kinda dreamy at once. Yes, they could easily be lumped together with a lot of the new-folk types of the moment. But, they do it in precision formation. Like My Latest Novel with all the flab trimmed away - and in training for a marathon. Cello, fiddle, guitar, drums. That’s it. A proper four piece band. Showing many of their more ‘known’ peers that to build music of such a scale you do not need to co-opt your grannie’s budgie in on bell and mirror.
But, there’s more. None of the epic bellowing that can ruin this type of thing, nor the introspective mumbling. What’s really at the heart of this is an set of crafted (fair catchy) tunes with a some seriously intriguing lyrics. Tales of catching the wrong train home late at night, inter-band rivalry, and one called Glasgow Smells Better. (OK, research has shown this not to be the case, but I’m sticking with the mishear.) First on the when-they-next-playing? list. (Note to prospective festival bands - these guys played early enough in the day to get an appreciative audience with some money still in their pockets. The albums were flying out.) - isthismusic.com


"The Scotsman Feature"

It's
easy to forget that Scotland has produced some of the most influential
music of the past decade. While bands all around the world reference
Mogwai or Boards of Canada or Belle & Sebastian, there are also
fledgling musicians closer to home who owe these trailblazers a debt.

One is Lewis Cook, an 18-year-old singer-songwriter who recently released his first album under stage name Yahweh. Now a student in Glasgow, Cook grew up in the small Dumfriesshire town of Moffat, where his love of music began:

"I think one of the biggest inspirations for me was when I heard Mogwai's EP+6,"
he says. "It totally opened my mind to a whole new concept of music and
was my first introduction to minimalism. Similarly, Boards of Canada's Music Has The Right To Children was a real revelation."

Yahweh's LP, Tug of Love,
is, thematically at least, a double-sided work: the first half
dedicated to Glasgow and the second to Moffat. For a bedroom recording
it's an alt-folk revelation, combining the wry lyricism of Arab Strap
with subtle bursts of electronica and sampling.

What's more, if you order a copy from their MySpace
it comes in a brown paper package tied with string, surely adding to
the likelihood of it becoming a collector's item in the not too distant
future.
- The Scotsman


"Yahweh - Tug of Love"

About a month ago, I was fortunate enough to come across a puerile talent by the name of Lewis Cook; he goes by the artist name of Yahweh. His Myspace page blessed my ears enough for me to order his debut album ‘Tug of Love’.
Scotland, this beautiful country I love has so much musical talent bursting out of its land pockets that it is sometimes hard to stand out. Yahweh however, does a meritorious job of doing so.

The album arrived bound with string in brown paper and stamped with the Yahweh emblem. Contained within was the original and consuming album cover designed by Cat Utting. It is so rare nowadays that albums are so lovingly packaged, but by God is it a blessing when it arrives and creates euphoria on your face.

I rarely talk about production when I write about music (ironic as it is what I studied) but for a debut, the production on this album is superb. It is so rounded and impressive especially on tracks like ‘The Wee Ending’ that I was hard pushed to believe it was by an artist as new as this.

‘The Wee Ending’ was the track that sealed me ordering this album. An almost techno beat encompasses a naïve guitar and a broad Scottish, handsome vocal. A love song of sorts and like love something that you become so addicted to that you become obsessed. I will never tire of this track; it is one of the best tracks to the tale end of this year I have had the pleasure of hearing. It is the flipside to the track ‘The Alternative Ending’ that cleverly takes one song and broadens your senses in two completely divergent ways. It is like love; on one hand you have the gut wrenching angst, guilt and pain but on the other you have the beautiful, joyous and certain intensity that is cocaine to our souls.

‘The King of Hillhead’, a tale of Glasgow and one that you would not expect to hear on this album. A complete and utter breath of fresh air with its breakbeat drum beat, droning keys and whining guitar. Fast becoming another favourite on this album it is a soundtrack to a city that illustrates exactly how monumental the talent it is producing.

‘Laps(e)’ has the potential of being an almighty song amongst people. Sufjan Stevens would quite happily steal this song for his album, a muddle of instruments that produce a track that is paradisiacal. What I love most about the lyrics is that they are as simple as telling us a day in his life, under complicated and over exquisite. ‘Tug of Love’ is an album that is wonderful, from its static vinyl sounds to its chiming bells and from its familiar vocals to its patriotic beats. It is an album that makes you proud to live in a country that boasts its endowment. Amour, my word it produces so many different treasures in so many forms. If this album is not one of the most talked about debuts of 2009 then I will be so very saddened. ‘Tug of Love’ is a truly remarkable introduction. - Sleepwalkingmag.com


"The List 4/5 Tug of Love Review"

The tall, bespectacled shadow of Sebadoh's Lou Barlow looms heavily over Scottish underground music. His truly special brand of introspection has fueled more late night confessionals at the tape recorder than any other earnest acoustic troubadour could ever claim. On this album, Yahweh have harnessed the fumbling beauty of Barlow's understated, wry musical style but fused it with jittery, electronic backing. But that's only part of what Yahweh can do. They also drape their frail tunes in layers of vinyl 'surface noise', distant analogue farts and hums, distressed, itchy Can-esque guitar lines, down-a-well banjo and broken shortwave radio chatter. This is the missing link between Boards of Canada and Arab Strap and arguably as good as both at points. A breathtaking, beguiling record imbued with an intimacy and wistful organic atmosphere of its own. (Mark Robertson) - The List Magazine


Discography

'Tug of Love' (Square Go Records) - Feb 2009
Self-distributed release available online, Monorail Records and Avalanche Records in Glasgow.

Photos

Bio

Yahweh is an experimental post-folk project from the country that brought you kilts, battered pizza and heart disease- that's Scotland for those that aren't familiar with this bonnie country. Previously named 'Warped Memories', Yahweh is the vehicle for composer and musician, Lewis Cook. Augmented by a collective of musicians whilst playing live, Yahweh produces reassuringly melancholy, broken tunes that combine experimental electronics, Scottish traditional music, psych-folk and an enchanting naivety. Gaining increasing attention with last year's release of debut album, 'Tug of Love', and a series of gigs in the summer including much talked about sets at Rockness and the Wickerman festival as well as a live session for the Vic Galloway show for BBC Radio 1, Yahweh has been building a fast-growing reputation for their interesting and unusual live sets.

The List- 4/5 "This is the missing link between Boards of Canada and Arab Strap and arguably as good as both at points. A breathtaking, beguiling record imbued with an intimacy and wistful organic atmosphere of its own." (Mark Robertson)

The Scotsman- "...an alt-folk revelation, combining the wry lyricism of Arab Strap with subtle bursts of electronica and sampling." (Nick Mitchell)

Daily Record - "Hungover on a Sunday afternoon, this CD is just the ticket." (Rick Fulton)

The Skinny- "Yahweh’s epic, electro-drone-acoustica reveals a real talent."(Stephen Toman)

Sleepwalkingmag.com - "If this album is not one of the most talked about debuts of 2009 then I will be so very saddened. 'Tug of Love' is a truly remarkable introduction." (Halina Rifai)

Qmunicate - "Tug of Love is inventive, ambitious and potentially groundbreaking" (KMcQ)