YAWN, as lead singer Adam Gil describes it, “is a band made up of four dudes from Chicago who met during high school.” Although his breakdown sounds simple, YAWN’s music is anything but. Gil tells us that for a moment YAWN was going to be called “Juwanna-man,” explaining, “at first there was a big push for the name, but it didn’t stick.” Although they left Juwanna-man behind, don’t let their current band name deceive you, because these boys have energy for days.
Although YAWN started out as “two guitars, bass, and drums with lead and backing vocals,” the band transformed from a more traditional arrangement. Gil explains, “as time went on we began to feel more constricted with strictly guitar-driven pop music” and found themselves moving on to “synth, electronic and sample-based music with pop sensibilities, like The Avalanches, Brian Eno and Animal Collective.” It’s evolved into something Gil describes as “synth-Bollywood-psychedelic pop music with a lot of vocal harmonies.” In 2010 YAWN traveled with the likes of Girl Talk, Yeasayer, Local Natives and Twin Shadow, who Gil says have all “been super nice to us and we’re grateful they selected us to play with them.”
The video for “Toys,” by Eli Stonberg, follows the journey of a paper windmill “getting separated from his family and swept through all these different places only to be reunited at the end.” Shot in France, Germany, Czech Republic, The Netherlands and the USA, the video also boasts sound effects recorded by the band.
Reflecting on the past year, Gil mentions playing the Fader Fort at SXSW as one of the highlights. As far as 2011 is concerned, the band is looking forward to the release of a new LP in the spring. “We’re very excited about the new material and can’t wait to start playing it live.” Well, we can’t wait either—these Chicagoans are a band that you don’t want to miss.—Annick Mayer