Yak Shares New Track Featuring Jason Pierce
London trio Yak are proud to share "This House Has No Living Room," a standout track from their their sophomore album Pursuit of Momentary Happiness, due February 8, 2019 via Third Man Records / Virgin EMI. The track, which features vocals and slide guitar from none other than J. Spaceman (a.k.a. Jason Pierce of Spiritualized), is accompanied by a Jonny Lu-directed video featuring never-before-seen 8mm footage from the archive of elusive cult photographer and filmmaker John Kayser (courtesy of Jason Brinkerhoff). The video debuted via Under The Radar -- watch it HERE, and pre-order the new album HERE.
During the latter stages of the album recording process, frontman Oli Burslem withdrew to Jason Pierce's home studio to piece the album together. It was during these few days that Pierce applied his vocals and slide guitar to the dazed finale, which sails out on Oli's own field recording of birdsong.
Oli explains, "This is the last song we recorded at RAK and it's definitely my favourite. It sums the whole record up. I guess it's inspired by mortality and memories of loved ones past and present. It also features my good friend John Coxon on piano and harmonica without whom I doubt the band would be where we are today. If it's the last piece of music I ever make I'll be happy."
The creation of Pursuit of Momentary Happiness saw frontman Oli Burslem stand on the precipice between obsession and self-destruction. He sacrificed everything for his artistic vision, including his own financial security and mental health. Who invests every last penny into recording, to the point where they become homeless?
"I don't want it to be a boo-hoo story," says Burslem. "It was fun doing it. It's nice to push yourself to the limit, and I can say now that I don't give a shit what anyone thinks, because it's a document of that time, and it's honest and open, and I couldn't have done or given much more."
The result is a rare white-knuckle ride of an album in which his extreme commitment pulsates through every moment - much like Spiritualized's Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Spaceand Tame Impala's Innerspeaker, both of whose creators had a part to play in its genesis -- ranging from the gonzo-fuzz chaos of tracks like "Blinded By The Lies" through to the Roy Orbison-inspired heartbreak of "Words Fail Me."
Yak had blazed a trail through the indie rock scene with their debut album Alas Salvation and ended that era of their career with a landmark show at London's Scala. Burslem and drummer Elliot Rawson were eager to make a second record, but bassist Andy Jones departed for a new life in Australia. A chance meeting with Jay Watson from Tame Impala's touring band resulted in Burslem hatching a plan to rehearse together in Melbourne before quickly recording the album at Tame mainman Kevin Parker's studio in Perth -- with Burslem stopping in Tokyo to focus on writing.
It didn't work out. Burslem returned to the UK with no home, no money and no album. 18 hazy months passed, during which Yak found their new bassist Vinny Davies and then a fresh focus. Yak were introduced to Spiritualized chief Jason Pierce through his bandmate John Coxon, and Pierce encouraged them that they still had something worth pursuing. That resulted in new deals with Third Man Records and Virgin EMI, and Burslem committed to sorting out his personal situation... just as soon as he'd finished the album.
They headed to RAK Studios with producer Marta Salogni (Björk, Django Django) and spent 10 hectic days recording 29 songs, 11 of which feature on the album. Burslem then withdrew to a small home studio with Pierce to apply some finishing touches. Pierce added slide guitar and vocals to the finale "This House Has No Living Room," which sails out on Burslem's field recording of birdsong. Against all advice, his dedication resulted in one final trip, this time to New York to completely remix the album.