British alt-folk, alt-Americana ‘Indie for Grownups’ act Wonders of the Yukon step equal parts warily and curiously into the great unknown in this, their latest single and Lynchian-like video “Every Once In A While” — available now!
“There’s a sense of seductive serenity,” band co-front Andy Campbell muses about the track. “It’s an uneasy longing, and edgy anticipation.”
“It’s the bowler rearranging the field,” co-front Dave Langdale adds. “There’s a bouncer coming. You know it’s coming, you just don’t know when. It’s the shimmering image through the heat-haze.”
“You know something’s coming,” they both urge, now synced. “You just don’t know what.”
This hypnotic sense of floating mid-fever dream is par for the course when it comes to Wonders of the Yukon; set on a bouncing backdrop of squelching guitars and laser-guided melodies, this year’s previous single “Cartoon Dreams” captures the stark sense of one’s own mortality, delivering a tale of existential angst with a liberal sprinkling of surreal absurdism. “That song considers the dichotomy between religion and evolution, and pits God against Darwin,” they say. “Faith against genetics.”
As heard since their breakthrough EP Songs of Mild Peril (2018) and follow-up string of singles, Wonders of the Yukon’s growing body of work amplifies the band’s affinity for both toying with the darker side of American culture with their homegrown Northern England sensibility. With their sound described as having a liquor-soaked romance, replete with soothing harmony and rattling emotion, the results are a sonic library that equally finds its place in the Twin Peaks Bang Bang Bar as would in a weather-ravaged grog shop in the Yorkshire Moors.
And you’d never know this is a band that came together by chance; their partners are childhood best friends who also lived around the corner from each other. Previously, Andy Campbell and Dave Langdale have released records via Columbia and Jeepster Records, respectively. Years before meeting, they shared stages with the likes of Pavement, Granddaddy, Sparklehorse, Bootsy Collins, and more, before joining to create Wonders of the Yukon.
And as for that name… It’s worth recounting how that conversation came about:
Dave: “I really like the word ‘Yukon.’”
Andy: “Yeah, it’s cool. It’s a place, isn’t it?”
Dave: “It’s in Canada. It’s bleak and beautiful.”
Andy: “Hmmm. Sounds quite apt for our music.”
Dave: “I was reading about Yukon Territory… Fantastic wildlife, the Northern Lights, vast and wide open spaces, harmonious nature…”
Andy: “Yukon Territory sounds pretty good.”
From there, the pair did a quick Google search, as one does, and discovered like nearly every last (dot) com or Insta-handle or… Y’know, Territory. There was already something named it.
“I just still loved the word ‘Yukon,’” Campbell continued, not inclined to let it go so easily. “It sounded like something from a sci-fi movie, like it came straight out of Flash Gordon.
“‘Ming the Merciless approaching from the planet Yukon.’”
“Yeah, it sounded otherworldly,” Langdale agreed.
Soon, an image came to Campbell: “I just saw ‘Wonders of the Yukon…’ Like a heading or chapter in a novel or newspaper.”
Or… The name of a really great band from Wakefield, England.
“Every Once In A While” is available now.