Yves Klein Blue
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Yves Klein Blue

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Band Rock Pop


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So I remember once I wrote their bio for MTV and I remember they actually got their start through said worldwide music channel during one of their 'Unearthed-esque' competitions called Kickstart.
From memory they won about two years ago but I'd never heard a whole lot of them until their catchy little number 'Polka' appeared on some car add on free to air.
I remember my boyfriend liking it and pointing it out at the time, though I never remember what the add was about I always jumped around a little in my chair.

So last night the foursome took to the stage at the Oxford Hotels Supper Club, an elegant (maybe even too nice for me) venue where waitstaff actually bring out tapas and so forth. I felt out of place but basically it was a Thursday night hull for the who's who of the industry with some big shots from Channel V and other local idependent artist and scenesters filling the room.

The invite said there was due to be no support and that the gig would kick off at 8pm. Never one to be late, fellow blogger Reel-around-the-fountain and I conversed of some very tall glass beers and waited for the band to take the small level stage.

At around about 8:30pm the four YKB boys made their way through the crowd and affectionately kissed fans and friends on the cheek and shook hands along the way. I always love it when bands keep it personal.

I've never really been a fan though all songs were new, aside from 'Polka', I honestly wouldn't of known. Front man Michael Tomlinson fashionably dones the old school flapper haircut, straight edge and stern browed he's absolutely fierce. The kick off and already I'm doing my boarder line retarded knee dance that I do when I like what I'm hearing.

The songs are solid and I'm enthralled. I can see friends around the room but it's hard to make eye contact because everyone can't stop staring at Tomlinson and he can't stop staring at you.. He actually doesn't really blink and bares the infamous Ian Curtis nature, that almost epileptic look in the eyes and you can hear him giving every song his absolute all, songs often ending in gasps of exasperation.

It's been sometime since I've seen a performer so immersed in the upbeat yet deeper than the service lyrics. You almost feel exhausted watching them yet you can't look away.

Every song is perfect, sometimes bearing obvious influences such as Modest Mouse and even commented Vampire Weekend-esque new tracks.

The highlight of the show would have to be a solo performance Tomlinson provided acoustically about some past romantic endeavor. The lyrics are so genuine and I mean the role of an artist is to make you believe what he's singing, what he felt when he wrote it and I fucking do when this guy sings. I actually found my mouth on the ground when he utters the words "I care about the future, I do".

'Ragged and Ecstatic' is due out this June and their new single 'Getting Wise' just release on the 22nd of May.
I will buy this record. No doubt.

It was so refreshing to catch a band who aren't so full of themselves and offer to hang round for beers after the show and actually insist we don't wander off aimlessly to the kebab store.

You must see them live to see what they're about, though catchy on track it's just something you need to appreciate. Artists who are clever and give a fuck. - Oscillatewildlymusic.blogspot

Ragged & Ecstatic (Dew Process/Universal)

The anticipation flourishing the release of local lads Yves Klein Blue’s debut longplayer has been culminating for what seems like ages now while they released an EP, scored a Mitsubishi ad (and pulled it off) and steadily built their following around the country. Now comes Ragged & Ecstatic, an album overflowing with ideas, charisma and most importantly, damn fine music!

Working with producer Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids), the band has crafted a unique record of sorts that smashes together a bunch of genres that probably shouldn’t work yet do so, on every level imaginable while remarkably sitting somewhere between your favourite sing-along pub band to the incredible rock hipsters that they are. Frontman Michael Tomlinson not only proves to be an exceptional lyricist but also possesses as much charisma here on record as he does on stage while the band, as a whole, effortlessly navigate their way around a well-written, brilliantly-executed and quite eclectic mix of songs.

The opening 1-2-3 crack combination of irresistible pop – ‘Make Up Your Mind’, ‘Soldier’ and ‘Getting Wise’ – is completely flawless, swaggering on just the right side of pop with the latter potentially existing as one of the most infectious singles this year.

From there, it’s remarkable how diverse the album is from song to song, effortlessly flipping from dirty-arsed rock’n’roll (‘Digital Love’, ‘Dinosaur’), intimate folk sing-alongs (‘About The Future’, Celebrity Death’), outright country ‘Gin Sling’ and of course, the accessible indie (‘Polka’, Summer Sheets’) all while managing to capture a youthful energy that’ll appeal to all.

In an age of five minute fame and over-buzzed bands that come as quickly as they go, Yves Klein Blue has provided an album of true longevity while retaining every ounce of cool they had when they started. They’ve come a frighteningly long way in a short time as simply a promising Brisbane band, but now they’re truly ready for the world. - Time Off

Yves Klein Blue
Three and a half stars
Ragged & Ecstatic Dew Process
Debut from Brisbane outfit aims high, aims wide – hits all its targets

If the Strokes had loved Television a little less and the Clash a little more, their debut might have sounded like this. Ragged & Ecstatic is good time pop music for kids who fantasize about throwing Molotov cocktails at Parliament House. From Arctic Monkeys-flavoured intergalactic rock explosions (“Queeny”) to demented, Pete Doherty-esque balladry (“About the Future”) and a swaggering country barroom strut (“Gin Sling”), YKB refuse to be fenced in stylistically and reap great rewards from their open-mindedness. “Summer Sheets” rebirths the vibe of the Clash’s “Wrong ‘Em Boyo”, “Reprise” could be early Paul Kelly, and breakthrough single “Polka” is now just another great feather in a very well-filled hat. - Rolling Stone

Yves Klein Blue - Ragged & Ecstatic
Dew Process
4 stars

It's wonderful when a band doesn't let you down. Yves Klein Blue blitzed MTV's Kickstar competition, then became Triple J darlings with the release of their 'Yves Klein Blue Draw Attention To Themselves' EP, and now they've created a debut album that actually delivers on their early promise.

There are plenty of first-listen hits: single 'Getting Wise' is gloriously catchy, based around a rattling piano riff that seems seconds away from bursting into 'Come On Eileen' at any moment, and EP favourite 'Polka' reappears mid-way through the disc. However, what's most impressive about the album is that the band aren't afraid to demonstrate their versatility: 'Digital Love' is a slice of sleazy rock, contrasting with the spry hi-life guitar of the opening 'Make Up Your Mind' and the singalong country of the closing 'Gin Sling'. As though that wasn't enough, 'About The Future' is a voice-and-guitar strum of which Jeffery Lewis would be proud, and 'Summer Sheets' is a brass-filled ska stomp. The connecting threads through all of this is the strength of the songwriting and the personality-filled voice of Michael Tomlinson. Sure, it's a smidge long and loses steam toward the end – 'Reprise' and 'Queeny' would be superior b-sides, but add little to the album as a whole – but Ragged & Ecstatic is an assured and powerful debut. Andrew P Street - Time Out

“YKB has managed to walk the wobbly tightrope of debut success: retaining the freshness and exuberance of newcomers while presenting a mature, complex and polished sound.” - The Weekend Australian

“It would be easy to dismiss this Brisbane quartet of early 20-somethings as another gen Y indie start-up with a strange name, but their irresistible mélange of pop-hooks, fuzzy guitar and Arctic Monkeys cheek will charm even the most cynical listeners.” - The Sunday Age

Ragged & Ecstatic is a cracker of a record.” - Sunday Herald Sun

“The youthful-looking, youthful-sounding youths from Brisvegas have delivered on their potential with 12 songs of intelligent, loquacious pop music, recorded in Los Angeles with Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids).” - Herald Sun

He’s often been labeled as Australia’s ‘beat poet’, but likening Tomlin¬son to a meandering Kerouac passage wouldn’t do his talent justice… he’s undoubtedly one of the freshest voices the Australian rock scene has heard since Craig Nicholls started screaming like a banshee.” - The Brag

Somewhat telling for four young guys straight outta Brisvegas, Yves Klein Blue certainly have a rowdy fun vibe about them. Already showing promise with a relentless East Coast and overseas touring schedule, and the release of a solid debut EP last year, Ragged & Ecstatic is YKB’s shot at the big time. They’ve gone in guns blazing.

Recruiting Kevin Augunas of Cold War Kids fame to produce their first record, the boys have ramped up their songwriting to match the new aesthetic, showcasing Michael Tomlinson’s expressive and often rambling vocal talents. He’s often been labelled as an Australian ‘beat poet’; with every phrase, word and melody meticulously worked out and then dragged back through the gutter before ending up on tape. He’s undoubtedly one of the freshest voices the Australian rock scene has heard since Craig Nicholls started screaming like a banshee.

Luckily, Tomlinson’s got a band behind him who seem to be equally as fearless as he is. Ragged & Ecstatic veers wildly in all sorts of directions, from the stomping scuzz-rock of Dinosaur through to the pretty little folk numbers like Make Up Your Mind and About The Future. What’s really telling are the upbeat numbers, Soldier and Getting Wise, in which band and singer seem so self-assured and confident that it’s hard to believe only recently left high school. Each song is a collage of seemingly disparate styles, held together by inventive phrasing and some skilled transitions. But most vitally, Yves Klein Blue are coming of age with a sound that’s really all their own, and that’s something remarkably exciting.

You should see them at Splendour, because I’ve got money on them returning in a few years as headliners. But if you can’t make it to Byron, the energy of this record should tide you over until Yves Klein Blue next hits your town. - www.fasterlouder.com.au


June 2009 - LP "Ragged & Ecstatic'

April 2008 - EP 'Yves Klein Blue Draw Attention To Themselves'

lots of radio play on triple j, 4 singles added over the past year or so.

Polka added ATB to Nova Brisbane and spot rotation on other Novas across the country.

Other indie stations such as RRR, 4ZZZ, FBi support the band. FBi have the album 'packet' on the week of its release.



Everyone searches for their place, but along the way it’s easy to forget that the real essence of living is to engage in it, to not only experience it but embrace the chaos and uncertainty and elation and pain and everything in between. As Jack Kerouac so poignantly and simply put it, it’s the ragged and ecstatic joy of pure being. It’s this desire to experience and live all life has to offer that so brilliantly pervades Brisbane’s Yves Klein Blue debut album, fittingly called “Ragged & Ecstatic”.
“That summed up the whole experience; everything that’s on the album is about being alive and finding out about the world and your place in it,” frontman Michael Tomlinson explains. “It was the dilemma taking up a lot of my thoughts during the past couple of years: What is this place and where do I fit in? What do I have to do? And the highs and the lows – that’s what life is.”
The past couple of years have seen Yves Klein Blue (“Eve Kline Blue”) walk a path of highs. From the moment schoolmates Tomlinson and guitarist Charles Sale bonded over a love of music and realised their aspirations stretched far beyond their jam room, their path was set. Adding drummer Chris Banham and bassist Sean Cook, the quartet quickly and organically crafted their own sound that swam against the tide of the music scene around them. And with their 2008 debut EP “Draw Attention To Themselves” and single ‘Polka’ leading the way, the band’s skewed and playful pop hooks, refreshing rhythms and Tomlinson’s way with words, Yves Klein Blue sounded fresh but timeless, classicism mixed with youthful vigour. Incredibly, the four were barely out of their teens.
“We all like certain styles of music, but it’s impossible to be everything to everyone,” says Sale. “As difficult as it may be to have a universal-reaching appeal, we want as many people to appreciate, or at least respond, to our music. We try to make music that more people want to enjoy. And you might not want to take a risk with it, but it creates a good result.”
“We’re a band that’s influenced by not only new music but a lot of great older bands and classic recordings,” Cook says. “And there’s a certain vibe and feeling that wells up when you listen to those records. We talked about making our first record years ago – and I think Michael’s been thinking about his first record since he was an embryo.”
But first they had their own story on the road to write, as they built a reputation for energetic and resonating live performances that showcased their self-belief and talent. Relentless touring at home and abroad set them in good steed for their debut album and, in hindsight, also went a long way to inspiring it.
So with eight months of preparation under their belts, Yves Klein Blue ventured into the industrial wasteland of North Hollywood, piled into in a two-room flat and spent three months at Fairfax Studios pulling to pieces what they’d spent so long assembling. This unexpected and uncertain turn would prove to be masterful – even if it meant sleepless nights for Tomlinson, desperately scribbling new words in the bathroom at 4am, the only space in the flat that could be lit without disturbing the others.
“When we got to the studio we were confident,” Tomlinson says. “Then we tore apart every song we had and started again. That was a month ranging from total elation to total self-loathing.”
Recording with Kevin Augunas (Cold War Kids), Yves Klein Blue learnt fast to objectively view their work. With a less-is-more approach to varied arrangements and an energised live-sounding set-up ensured Tomlinson’s impassioned and witty lyricism came to the fore.
“We went over there wanting to do a live album, but Kevin made us realise the potential of what we could do with the songs,” Banham says. “We had a massive room where there was no reverb and the walls were padded, so you could put an amp in the middle of the space, mic it up, and it’d just capture a natural sound, a live vibe.”
“Kevin was the man that said: ‘Is this good enough?’ That was his challenge,” Tomlinson says. “And the challenge issued was the extra five per cent, which was the difference between what we thought was great and something beyond what we thought we could ever do. The five per cent between good and excellent is so important. So the challenge he issued was a big factor on the record.”
Great is a word that understates “Ragged & Ecstatic”, an album that subtly and cleverly captures the exuberance and experience of life, but in a way that’s as universal as it is personal. The end of the long journey was at Brisbane’s Airlock Studios and then Sydney’s Big Jesus Burger Studios with Scott Horscroft (The Presets, The Panics, Sleepy Jackson), where final touches to the mix were made.
This passion and uncompromising vision also makes “Ragged & Ecstatic” a lot of fun. With an off-the-cuff, energetic and live feel to the set, it veers from the buoyant, bright and swaggering single ‘Getting Wise’ and irresistible ‘M