When your debut single is described by BBC Introducing West Yorkshire’s Alan Raw as ‘pretty much perfect’, you know you’re onto a winner. They may have only formed just over a year ago, but jazz crossover quintet Yaatri have been making ripples – and maybe even a few waves with their inaugural single ‘Waiting On The Sun’, released on Spotify October 12th . Founded by guitarist and composer Liam Detar (who also happens to be an LCOM graduate), Yaatri are yet another band that are a true testament to the talented calibre of artists rising up through the Leeds music scene.
Recorded right here in Leeds at Nave Studios, ‘Waiting On The Sun’ is the first single to be released from the band’s EP, which is set to come out in early 2020- the inspiration for the track springing from a jam between DeTar, drummer Jona Tromp and keys player Felix Bertulis-Webb back in the Spring of 2018. Having found the basis for the track from the riff and rhythmic cell developed during the trio’s spring session, DeTar describes the following summer he spent in India ‘listening to a lot of Indian Classical music’ as critical to the song’s development.
The resultant single by Yaatri is a beautiful fusion of what Detar describes as ‘two big pieces of my cultural identity’- a soaring celestial soundscape of atmospheric jazz, with the influence of Indian classical music woven firmly into its fabric. Trying to combine several sources of musical inspiration into one track is never easy, yet through ‘Waiting on the Sun’ Yaatri manage to do not only this, but also achieve a rare balance between a complex and technical composition which still sounds totally effortless and ethereal. So whilst “Waiting on The Sun” may be the first single Yaatri came together and played when the band began rehearsing, it certainly doesn’t have the ring of a nervous debut. Vocalist Bethany Herrington describes her beautiful wordless melodies as an expression of the moments where you lose yourself to the ‘mental pressures of modern society’, whilst also noting that ‘the answers to these problems are always the most simple.’ You can tell just from the way she describes her vocals that the composition of the track is going to be delicately done and sophisticated- without uttering a word her voice seem to restore the sense of rest and tranquillity that she describes as so easily missing.
Having produced such a confident debut and secured sets at Sounds Like THIS Festival, Jazz Leeds Festival, Band On The Wall Free Jazz Showcase, as well as a support slot for UK jazz heavyweight Tony Koﬁ, Yaatri is a name we can expect to hear a lot more of around Leeds. And whilst were speaking about hearing a lot more of them, the best way to keep up with Yaatri is to follow this appropriately placed link to the band’s website!
By Maddi Fearn