VIDEO REVIEW: Yellerkin “Tools”

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Photo credit: Jacob Wayler

Surrounded by a dark forest and lit by a bright fire, Brooklyn-based duo Yellerkin return to nature in their latest music video for “Tools.” The band, comprised of childhood friends Adrian Galvin and Luca Buccellati, shot the video in the woods of Katonah, New York with the help of director Nicolas Pesce. Add some Pranayama – a form of yoga that focuses on breathing – and mystical effects and the music video becomes the perfect visual companion for the airy, ardent track.

Yellerkin released their debut EP earlier this year with “Solar Laws” as the promo single. Their sound is experimental pop, a mixture of folk sounds and synthpop that’s familiar and pleasant. What will make them stand out from the mass of music talent from Brooklyn will be their ability to tell stories through their music and how attention to lyrics and instrumentation may help differentiate them from their contemporaries. So far, Yellerkin has performed at SXSW in Austin, Texas this year and is prepared to release another EP before the end of the year.

“Tools” is about that resentful feeling the current generation may have when they realize how hopeless and alienating the world really is. But it’s also about finding a way to make things work. The video fittingly reflects this sentiment with Galvin and Buccalleti, dressed in a plain uniform of sweatshirts and loose pants, finding solace in the woods and using their tools to make sense of the darkness. At the start of the video, the men are gathered around a fire and once the song starts, they’re suddenly suspended in air, complementing the floating yet heavy feeling of the synths and percussion.

Even though they sing, “You don’t have the tools to realize that God won’t talk to you,” there are lots of tools used in the video: sticks for a shelter, fire for light, a shovel for digging. Even their bodies become tools to experience the world through yoga and dancing. It’s a Rousseau-inspired solution by minimizing society to the few and a reverence for the natural state of being.

Toward the end of the song, there’s a dynamic shift marked by a brighter, more energetic sound; the movement becomes more frantic, representative of some new understanding that has been reached. On this, the band suggests that even if they feel helpless and overwhelmed by the current state of the world, what they can do is reflect within themselves and use what “tools” they do have to start again.

Yellerkin plays the Wild Honey Pie’s CMJ showcase at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Saturday, October 25th; it’s free with RSVP.

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