Yndi Halda: “We do our very best not to ascribe to any scenes.”

Yndi Halda: “We do our very best not to ascribe to any scenes.”

By Chris Robinson

Mar 3, 2016 11:02

Nine years is a long time for anything, let alone the modern day music scene which is so fast-paced and demanding of artists. As soon as one album is released, press and fans question when the next will arrive. Tours happen. Press events and interviews happen. The cycle continues. But what happens when an artist essentially disappears for nine years? Meet Yndi Halda, who, after a long absence, return in 2016. 

Debut album ‘Enjoy Eternal Bliss’ was a sprawling, beautiful record that for many went under the radar. But those who knew and got hold of it revelled in its folk-meets-progressive-meets-post rock atmosphere. For the band themselves, it now feels like a record from a different lifetime. “It has been such a long time that it almost feels foreign to us”, James Vella reflects, “More like a past life revival than a real memory. We barely play the songs from that record anymore, though will likely learn them afresh for the upcoming tour dates, and some lines might take hard memory jogs to remember. But I think folks are still interested in it. I hope so anyway”.

Despite its age, and the change that all the members of Yndi Halda have been through since its initial release, it remains a record they are immensely proud of: “Of course it remains incredibly important and valuable to us. Something we’re really, truly proud of and hope to perpetuate through, probably more accomplished, live performances of the material.”

Describing the sound of Yndi Halda for someone who has never heard them before can be something of a challenge, as their music crosses so many genre boundaries yet remains both beautiful and fragile at all times. Many people tie them in with other post-rock bands such as Caspian, Explosions in the Sky and This Will Destroy you, and while they have no issue with this genre, Yndi Halda see themselves as something different. “We do our very best not to ascribe to any scenes. I’ve never felt comfortable with that genre category and while I have no objection to folks describing our music however they need to, I would never use it myself”.

March 2016 finally sees new music surfacing from the band, and we talked with James about the writing process and central theme of the record. “The writing process is best described as “drawn out”. We spent a great deal of time composing, arranging, demoing, re-writing, scrapping, forgetting and even recording the thing. The earliest written parts of the record have been with us since 2007, just after the release of the first LP. It tells a very true history of the last 9 years of our lives. And in that sense, the central theme was for this record just as it has been for the first record – that we are expressing sentiments important to us, through our songwriting. It did become clear, though, that there was a cohesive picture that continued to be evoked as we worked on it. And that’s reflected in the title. It is not only about endless halcyon summer bliss, but about the darkness and sadness on the other side.”

Early tracks that have been released continue to present Yndi Halda in the stunning, gentle fashion that fans are accustomed to. The media has rejoiced, and Yndi Halda are getting the credit that they surely deserve. But with so much time and effort being focussed on the development and release of the new album, have they had the opportunity to read some of the kind words written about them? “We have read some, sure. It is of course very encouraging to hear positive response to our new material after a long time out. And we really hope we can continue to grow in the same way.”

The future of Yndi Halda is undoubtedly strong, but once the record is released – what next? We asked James about the possibility of festivals alongside their planned touring schedule. “We’re touring in March and April. These will be our first live shows in a couple of years. Then we’ll hit Europe and likely UK again towards the end of the year. And yes, hopefully filling that gap with festivals over the summer. We want to play high and wide now. There’s nothing quite like sharing your own music with people that want to hear it.”

Just like the soaring nature of their music, we too hope that Yndi Halda play far and wide now. Celebrate their return, celebrate Yndi Halda.

‘Under Summer’ is due for release on March 4th via Big Scary Monsters.