(Photo by Nicole Browner)
Berkeley bad-boy Dan Casey has come a long way since he formed his first band nearly seven years ago, with Lemons are Louder Than Rocks based out of Philadelphia. The multifaceted musician has been focusing on his main electronic project for the better part of four years, and has just released his first proper full-length LP as Yalls. Maintaining the signature sound that Yalls had developed on his earliest singles (see “Spaceship”), the new United LP (currently available from Gold Robot Records) explores new sonic textures and funky rhythms from the now seasoned performer.
In our most recent interview with Casey, he expains that “Yalls is about impulse, exploration and repetition”. Armed with a variety of synths, MPCs, and software, you never know exactly what to expect from a new Yalls track. Even though it could just as easily be a sample-driven instrumental beat as an experimental pop jam, an ambient meditation, or a lyrically poignant ballad, Casey knows what’s a Yalls track and what isn’t. That’s why he has released music under several different monikers over the past few years. He has even explored the acoustic side of his songwriting abilities, releasing the Empty City LP last year under his given name. More recently, Yalls teamed up with Oakland rapper Squadda B (Main Attrakionz) on a pair of tracks for DreamCollabo.
I saw Dan Casey perform his very first Bay Area gig as Yalls in 2011, and gained an insider perspective on his artistic process while watching him rehearse for a hopeful, impromptu set at SXSW later that year. Flash-forward four years to last March and the efforts are finally fruitful, with Yalls performing at several official and unofficial showcases in Austin this year. As a Rock Make veteran, Yalls should have no problem dishing out some of his more sunshine-oriented material at Phono del Sol 2014–however, don’t be surprised if he launches you into deep space. Grab your tickets now.