01 June 2018 (released)
26 May 2018
It kind of feels like we've all been leading a sort of double life lately. On one hand, life is carrying on much as it always has. We live out the day to day with our friends and family, working hard to maintain a good life. Hitting obstacles along the way but taking them on in good nature. Then there is this looming darkness. This cloud of vitriol, uncertainty, and chaos that seems to have fixed itself above us. Evil has taken many forms throughout the ages but it seems now that politics itself is the evil pervading modern society. It's this rage and intolerance bred by partisan divides that transport us from our everyday comings and goings and makes them demonstrations. Turns the mundane acts of our lives into activism. Makes attempting to craft a quality life for yourself into a war.
English artist Mailman has seen this duality and created a fully dichotomized double album illustrating the elated moments that are strung together to create a fulfilling life as well, as well as the sinister political dealings that force us to look at each other with anger rather than understanding. Though the messages are quite different from side to side, the tone of the music remains fairly similar. Mailman bases himself in a 90s style alt-rock while weaving in a measure of the theatric and the ethereal. Like if the Spin Doctors infused themselves with a dose of Pink Floyd.
Moving from the opening theme 'Introvert' to the closing theme 'Outrovert', side A of Yang Yin explores the light side of life. Striving to appeal to the better angels of our lives. 'Come What May' gives a straightforward message of perseverance against adversity with a light-hearted bounce. 'Frontiers' offers a sing-songy lesson under a reggae-inspired backbeat. His verse vocals borrow a tone from Depeche Mode making for an interesting breeding of styles. 'Owe It to my Heart' has that classic Britpop bounce, a sunny day care-free ditty. All in all, side a stays light and breezy, acknowledging darkness but encouraging you to put it out of your mind.
Side B further explores the cynicism and darkness that seems to reach us through the airwaves more and more. Leading off with a collage of Trumpian missteps and maniacal quotes, Mailman illustrates our dystopian present on 'Cirque du Silly'. The electro-acoustic 'Operetta' delineates our constant exposure to the toxic political drama that is now ever-present in our lives. Though the musical tone stays entrenched in that light 90s aesthetic, tracks like 'Mean Motherfucker' and 'Dear Darkness' tell darker stories than the dittys on the flip side.
Yang Yin does a good job of thematically representing the chasm present in many of our lives these days. Considering the difference in subject matter, one would think that the tone of the music would differ more from side to side, letting the subject matter influence the type of songs created.
Double single 'Owe It To My Heart' / 'The Truth Will Out' released June 1st. 'Yang Yin' released 27th July.