Psy and Cygnet – Yew Haiku (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is a fantastic ethic at work behind the eloquently named Yew Haiku‘s latest release. Eschewing style in favour of substance, polished production for creative poise (though there is nothing rough and ragged found here and if there is, it feels like creative honest rather than any lack of attention to detail,) Psy and Cygnet is a blend of gorgeous ambient pop poise and baroque folk fusions.

Working on the premise that “Isolation, post-industrialization, and internet addiction might just be the millennial generation’s drugs, sex, or rock and roll,” she refuses to be just another dancing pallbearer and looks for silver linings, both lyrically and sonically.

Opener, Pax Parallax, kicks things off with staccato bursts of energy, driving, chiming piano repetitions and gorgeous vocal interludes, the music is often sparing but the textures, woven out of these perfectly selected sonic strands, are beguiling. The punningly titled Taste The Painbow (Pure Paradise) is seductive and subdued and even when it picks up the beat it reveals in shimmering cascades rather than full-on grooves, and the title track gets us home via a deft and delicate folktronic fix.

As a three-shot blast of music and a calling card for Yew Haiku, it is perfect. Considered and understated but at times brimming with energy and hope, full of space and atmosphere yet cocooning the listener in otherworldy sonics and chiming charm, it is impossible not to fall in love with what’s going on here…and fall hard!

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