Saturday, June 11, 2011

WU LYF - Go Tell Fire To The Mountain

You shouldn't feel out of the loop if you haven't heard of Manchester's WU LYF. They might be the most talked about british band of the past while without ever giving any interviews (until recently) or any public advertising. Unadvertised live shows in their hometown for practically free, cryptic messages issued via their website and you start to get the idea.

There are many questions, but few answers. The band's name WU LYF does in fact stand for "World Unite" "Lucifer Youth Foundation" and is typically enigmatic.

For a long while people were inclined to believe they were just a hoax, until they started dropping some demos online last year. This way of presenting a product, in this case music, can only ultimately succeed if the product itself is of high quality. Fortunately, these guys do have the goods to back it up. The band started when childhood schoolmates, singer Ellery Roberts and bassist Tom McClung who after going their separate ways many years ago, came together in 2006 and started making music. Bandmates Evans Kati and Joe Manning followed after.

Many people have naturally wondered about whether the band was a true DIY outfit or is backed by a brilliant marketing campaign. Afterall, it is hard to imagine many lads in their early 20's executing a plan so well. The truth is probably somewhere in between. An article written in April by british newspaper The Guardian claimed they are managed by Warren Bramley, a founder of british ad firm "four23". Roberts responded to Guardian writer Paul Lester with

"We can see how people could be cynical about our relationship with Warren, but the truth is, we make our own music, our own films, our own artwork," says Roberts. "All he does is give us the space to be able to do those things."

The music is pretty hard to break down into a particular category, which I always find pretty refreshing. It took a bit of time for me to get into the album, but have appreciated it's moments of haunting yet exhilarating and sometimes confounding delivery. Roberts' strained vocals eventually won me over, and repeat listens became essential. Even Jay-Z tweeted about the band on Apr. 25th "Do the best rock bands come out of the uk? " (link to track "All I Need")

Also something of note, they turned down just about every record company in the UK last year. They will release the new album on their own label "LYF Recordings" They eventually negotiated a distribution deal with Universal Music Publishing, which helped to fund their self recorded debut.

A video announcing the band's debut album "Go Tell Fire To The Mountain"

Album Available on iTunes June 17th in US and Canada

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