YBSM are championing DIY electro with carefully crafted tracks full of haunting vocals, echoey guitar riffs and sparse drum beats. The duo from Essex have released their debut EP and are starting to make waves in London with a recent gig in Hoxton supporting Polly Scattergood.
YSBM tell The Wave a little more about themselves…
How would you like people to define you?
Guy: Erm, probably an electro duo from Essex that is made up of sampled beats and soft melodic instrumentation.
How did you meet?
Connor: We both met in college when we were 16, and have just been friends ever since really.
Where does the band name come from?
Guy: Pretty much me and Connor were talking one night about when we were 16 and about how many things have changed since then. From this we realised how people ‘bloom’ in a way, over the years, and that’s how we came up with the name ‘Years Bloom’. We ended up shortening it to YSBM as we’ve always thought names like SBTRKT and MSTRKRFT are unique and stand out.
Who would you say are your main influences?
Connor: We have shared influences definitely, with people like Mount Kimbie and Bonobo having an impact on our sound but specifically I take inspiration from artists like Foals, SBTRKT and James Blake.
Guy: I get the majority of my inspiration from Hip Hop artists. Some of these in particular are Kanye West, Rejjie Snow, Nas and Pharaohe Monch.
What do you think of James Blake’s recent Mercury Prize win?
Connor: He was up against some much bigger acts in terms of stature within the current music scene, but the fact that they recognised his talent and song writing ability is a good sign that it’s not all about being in the charts.
This week you played a set at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, how did it go?
Connor: It was a really good experience, with it being our first London gig. We were both very nervous in the build up to it, and to top it off one of our cables broke in the sound check, so for about 10 minutes it looked like we weren’t going to be able to play. But we did, and it was all good!
Weirdest live experience?
Guy: That’s gotta be our first live gig that we did. We were both getting real psyched up about it thinking that we were going to be playing to loads of people, but when we went out there was like these 2 guys sitting there and one of those guys was about 87 years old. Funny though!
You supported Polly Scattergood, another artist from Colchester, do you think the town has a strong music scene?
Guy: Yeah there’s some really good acts that are within Colchester, but I think there’s a lack of venues available to play at. So I probably haven’t heard half of the good shit thats actually around!
Connor: Erm, it’s not a venue as such, but I’d love to play at a festival like Latitude on the main stage at night. That would be incredible!
Your EP, Year’s Bloom came out earlier this year, how was the creation process?
Connor: The creation process for the EP was a very strange one. We began making music with the intention of playing it live, so we ended up creating 8 or 9 songs that we could play. We didn’t want to rush what we were doing so we ended up gigging when we felt the songs were at a good enough stage. Once we’d played a few gigs we thought ‘hang on we should probably record some of this soon’, so we chose what we thought were our 6 strongest songs at the time and got them recorded.
What do you think is the strongest track on the EP?
Guy: Listening to the EP now I think we both agree on After Dark.
What is your song Mango about?
Connor: Lyrically Mango is about how when you are a child you want to be an adult, but when you actually become an adult you want to be a child again. The title has absolutely no relevance to the meaning of the song, and it came from the fact there had been a mango in our fridge for a very long time.
How’s the reaction been to your sound?
Guy: The reaction to our music has been amazing. If we’re honest we never really expected people to actually hear our stuff, just the two of us and our neighbours that now probably hate us.
Do you think DIY electro is the way forward for new bands?
Guy: The music scene is so versatile and there’s so much talent within different genres that it’s hard to say the best way to go forward.
Is indie guitar music dead?
Connor: It’s just having a quiet few years at the moment, everything seems to have gone electronic, but it’ll be back round again i’m sure.
What do you think of the revival of vinyl and cassette?
Guy: To be honest i think it’s pretty stupid, in this day and age there is literally no point in using cassettes when most people have ipods/iphones/mp3 players, it’s impractical!
Where do you see YSBM in five year’s time?
Connor: Erm, we would love to be touring around Europe, that would be incredible. But for the moment were just writing more stuff to add to the live shows and looking for more gigs around the country.