• Cherry Popper
YAWN Chicago Band portrait

YAWN: Chicago’s Worst-kept Secret

written by: on December 13, 2011

Earlier this month, Chicago-area indie radio station WMXM called YAWN “one of the best-kept secrets of the Chicagoland alternative scene.” But is this something we can honestly believe?

If you haven’t already heard of the group, you might want to take a look at the interview Pop ‘stache did with Adam Gil (lead vocals, keys and guitar) and Daniel Perzan (guitar and bass) in August. At the time, YAWN was prepping for the band’s release party in honor of its debut album, Open Season, and forthcoming east coast tour with Mates of State.

Buy tickets to see YAWN on Saturday, Dec. 17th at Subterranean

YAWN formed while its members (Gil, Perzan, Sam Wolf and Jorge Perez) were in high school, originally recording and performing under the name Metrovox. The group felt the name YAWN better represented a genreless existence, which is ultimately where they see the band establishing itself among its forever changing influences. ­

Before the group’s debut album, YAWN released a free EP and a full-length remix mixtape. The band was also given the opportunity to premiere the video for its single “Acid” on Rollingstone.com.

And when your band gets a feature on Rolling Stone, can it really be called a secret anymore?

The group’s new music is darker than and not as lush as its previous material; it’s more experimental psychedelic, mainly utilizing layered electronic instruments and samples. Wolf (bass, keyboards and vocals) said, “My mom describes it as being more romantic.” The group agreed. With the release of Open Season, YAWN’s style was pegged as blatantly similar to Animal Collective. YAWN feels this new sound and its experience performing on tour will help convey a totally unique identity, truer to the band.

“Also, unlike last time, we haven’t been listening to a lot of newer releases during the song writing process,” Gil said. “We’re hoping it will help in creating something unique.” Perzan added, “Really, all we’ve been listening to is Pure Moods, the Blade Runner” soundtrack and music from Bollywood.”

And even before Rolling Stone, as mentioned in the interview, YAWN was invited to record at Converse Rubber Tracks, Converse’s community-based recording studio in Brooklyn. The company hired a film crew to document the group’s record release and journey to New York City, inching YAWN even further into the spotlight.

As it turns out, Converse’s engineers weren’t familiar with the software YAWN uses (Ableton Live), giving the group the unique opportunity to completely take over the studio and record on its own terms (DIY or bust!). In total, seven unreleased songs were recorded, one of which will be released alongside Converse’s video footage.

Then there’s YAWN’s self-owned record label, Feel Trip. It didn’t seem necessary to ask the band how it was named. Remember that YAWN has a single called “Acid.” As of now, the only official Feel Trip-signed band is Magic City, who debuted its album with YAWN on Nov. 12 at a Chicago venue The Beerics.

Gil described the venue as, “something out of a Sum 41 video. There’s a half-pipe in it and everything.”

YAWN is making its first trip to the West Coast, touring with The Kooks, but members have already started looking for a Chicago loft space to house themselves and the label when the tour ends, hoping to record and release another free EP and eventually press all of the band’s released material onto vinyl.

On Dec. 17, Pop ‘stache will welcome the band back to the city as headliners at Pop’ stache’s first ‘Stache Bash. Make sure to get out and experience YAWN’s “umm … uhh, good times.”