Tiny Mix Tapes
“Like The Pixies, Yourself and the Air are experts at building songs around distinct guitar movements that shift seamlessly into one another on a smooth rotation. Best of all, they do it without sounding like a shallow imitation…”
“Yourself and the Air play a surprisingly mature and thoughtful brand of indie bearing more than enough melody and wistfulness to get by.”
“The delicious music created by suburban Chicago 5-piece Yourself & the Air is urban and jangly, yet spaced-out with a dreamlike quality â€” akin to the soundtrack to a twisted kids movie delivered with an eerie calm, climactic structures and relentless rhythms.”
“â€œFriends of All Breedsâ€ serves as evidence that thereâ€™s more original material to be made by this band, but as first steps go, the record is rather impressive. The dual guitarwork, intricate, clean for the most part, has the most lasting impact.”
“Friend of All Breeds is a labor of passion above all else, and a signal of great things for Yourself and the Air.”
“â€” you donâ€™t meld The Cure, Les Savy Fav, No Knife, and Modest Mouse and come away with cream pie. No matter which pieces they move â€” darting counter-melodies, chugging barre chords, restrained half-time â€” Friend Of All Breeds has a worried heart, certain it has been mistreated and desperate to understand why.”
With little musical experience among them and none a traditionally trained musician, Yourself and the Air began with one goal and one expectation: make music and feel better. The idea was, is and always will be chivalrous as artists, there is no other choice than to make art and share it. Itâ€™s about connection, about linking and about knowing that weâ€™re never alone as long as we wake up to the same sun and sleep under the same moon. In 2006, it became evident that if we really are the humans we believe we are, we must become the people we know we are and treat each other as such. It was immediate, beyond words and thoughts, and what used to be the individual and solitary catharsis of a small family had become Yourself and The Air.
A year later light started shinning through cracks in the bandâ€™s surface, a color here, a squinting reflection there and then came “Cold Outside Brings Heavy Thoughts to Think” (2007), a lesson in endurance. The group of friends and brothers was officially a band with something to prove. The songs were no longer lo-fi demos, but exhausting displays of restlessness and intensity that demanded attention despite fatigue. The angular guitar riffs flexed in acuity, not merely contrasting each other, but accentuating every note as if every second was dependent on the one that came before it. With practice came an unspeakable unity. Suddenly the lives of the five members of Yourself and The Air became just that.
The band began touring heavily and what little Yourself and The Air lacked in musical prowess, was more than made up for by sincerity and an earnest compassion for their fellow human. It was during this time that survival instincts took over. The band was a family, each worked part time jobs handling packages, waiting tables, delivering pizzas, bagging groceries, anything for the betterment of the band, this strange and newly formed organism that was evolving before everyoneâ€™s very eyes. Touring the corners of the continent shifted Yourself and The Air into a new gear. No longer running on gas or money, the azure Rocky Mountains fueled their desires, Arizonaâ€™s barren orange canyons provided shelter and Californiaâ€™s wrinkled and tempered beauty replaced food for thought. Stationed behind Micekill, the bandâ€™s name for their touring van, a more meaningful life appeared, but one not without its share of complicated hazards. At one point, the band resorted to stealing coins from an Arizona fountain to pay for the gas to the next show. Broke and in Virginia, the band slept along the shore of Virginia Beach for two days. The lineup began to fluctuate with Jeff Papendorf leaving to finish a degree in geology and each member being forced to play the hands theyâ€™d been dealt. Family and drug problems tested Yourself and The Airâ€™s dedication and commitment.
Following their successful North American tour, the band responded to their struggles with a resolute determination and their third recording â€œFriend of All Breedsâ€, a measured recitation of everything thatâ€™ s been learned and humble omission of all that is yet to be achieved. The band was picking away at themselves, revealing a bright and glowing vibrancy beneath the brittle flakes of their former selves. On Friend of All Breeds the parts merged together and Yourself and The Air stopped playing instruments and started playing songs. The progression was evident and exciting. The new songs hinted at something no one in the band thought possible– a better future. The songs were oscillating uncontrollably, yet confidently and the music teetered on the precipice of an intangible and infinite destiny as it morphed from one spacey waltz to another. The count down of abstract time has begun and in a verbose silence Yourself and The Airâ€™ s whisper about everything and nothing at all is growing louder than the empty echo of an exploding heartbeat unheard.
US Summer Tour Dates
7.23 – Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack – Little Rock, AR
7.24 – Spanish Moon – Baton Rouge, LA
7.25 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
7.26 – The End – Nashville TN
7.27 – Bottletree – Birmingham, AL
7.28 – Southgate House Parlor – Newport, KY
7.29 – Circus – Columbus, OH
7.30 – Vollrath Tavern – Indianapolis, IN
7.31 – Turf Club – St. Paul, MN
8.1 – Subterranean – Chicago, IL