Album: The Wood Beyond The World
Release Date: 22nd September 2018
Record Label: Unsigned
I had the pleasure of seeing YYLVA live in Nottingham as the opening act for Grimner. For that performance, it was only Clare as a solo artist with her beautiful voice and harp playing skills. This album provides you with a lot more than just one instrument and one voice.
The Wood Beyond the World begins with A Foreshadowing. This style is the more familiar style with anyone who has seen YYLVA live previously. It is simply a harp and Clare’s vocals, although there are some vocal harmonies to lead us into the rest of the album. The track ends with a fade out into the next track, A Sidhe in Throes. This second track begins with choral vocals, and then the full instrumental kicks in, with heavy drums and guitar. It is almost black metal in style. There is a high octave of piano in the mix as well. The track then gets calmer with the harp again, the instrumental is almost ethereal, and the music would not be out of place in a Tolkien universe film. There are some contrasting harsh vocals, and heavier sections, and we end with whispering with harp and overlapping clean vocals.
Nepenthe once again begins with a harp and then Clare’s vocals, again we have some heavier sections, and group vocals, and the track ends with vocal harmonies. Waterwings, appropriately, begins with the sound of running water, and of harp and flute. There is acoustic guitar, and the whole track is of a calmer and slower pace. It does remind me of the world of Kingdoms of Amalur. The track ends with whispering and running water again. Tears of Awakening has a harp and bass introduction, fast drums and guitar join in before the track calms back down again.
The penultimate track Aurorae once again begins with harp, and an epic guitar comes in. We then get some heavy, fast blast beats, which again brings in the black metal style previously heard earlier in the album. There are some harsh vocals again, and a violin melody is strong in the mix. The outro is harp and violin, and we finally end with overlapping vocals. Niënor ends the album, with a harp intro and vocal harmonies, and it is a calming end to the album, with a fade out of the harp on its own.
This is an amazing debut from YYLVA. The tracks are really well written, the mix is brilliant and Clare’s vocals are absolutely incredible. I very much look forward to seeing YYLVA live again at Warhorns Festival at the end of September, and the album release conincides with the festival weekend. I expect many more great things from YYLVA, and I am excited to hear more in the future.