The middle of bitingly cold Beijing seems like a totally unlikely place to fall in love with the music of a kid who actually grew up about five blocks from where I am writing this (in Colorado Springs). But that’s where it happened to me, and happened hard. I have seven songs from Night Beds on my iPod, and I must’ve listened to each more than a dozen times. That’s a lot of “repeat all”s in two weeks.
Winston Yellen’s voice has a gorgeous measure of this transparent honesty in it, letting it show light through the cracks. It is a tremendous voice, with a swooping sadness that rivets me, like Jeff Buckley’s shivers with Ray LaMontagne’s warmth.
(if you have a Daytrotter subscription, get thee to that session as soon as you can – every song is terrific. If you don’t have a Daytrotter subscription, this is a worthy tipping point to get you there)
Yellen now lives in Nashville, but I like to think that something of the golden Colorado freshness has permeated its way into his songcraft. Night Beds is now signed to one of my favorite label families, Dead Oceans (home of other good folks like Tallest Man on Earth, Bill Fay, and Bowerbirds) and the 7″ for “Even If We Try” is available now, to tide us over until his debut full-length Country Sleep comes out in 2013.
The streams I’ve heard for the first two tracks on this record are riveting – it starts out a cappella, and I love it in similarly fervent measure to that Cold Specks song that first struck me like lightning around this time last year.
Sort of like the way this one starts: