Formed in 2018, Bristol, UK based Yard Arms have been playing music together longer than they haven’t. The duo, consisting of Noah Villeneuve and Billy Golding, began making music together in 2007, despite not being old enough to get into the bars they played at.
By 2014, their first project fell apart naturally although Villeneuve and Golding kept playing music whenever they could. In 2017, Villeneuve began working on some songs and eventually wrote an album.
However, he and Golding weren’t in a good place at the time and it didn’t feel right. Then a year later,
Villeneuve and Golding sat down together and wrote a few songs together which eventually lead to songs that were on their first EP Maiden. Not sure if anything would become of this, they recorded the tracks with the help of a mutual friend. Out of all the projects the duo worked on, Yard Arms has always felt the most natural.
“It was like the best experience we’d ever had in the studio. It was, um, it was just something about it, there was this real energy that we couldn’t ignore,”
Villeneuve said. “And we just kept on doing that. And we got some guys to come and play in a room with us. And we got a couple of shows, and it just kind of has been a very natural process since then.”
Authenticity has always been a big part of Yard Arms, so not being transparent was never an option.
“We’re not trying to be something we’re not; we’re not pandering to people, we’re definitely not trying to be cool because we’re not... It’s a very natural organic process. And I think everyone we enjoy listening to, or respect, and our peers are all the same. People see through the dishonesty pretty quickly.”
Flash forward to 2020, the band was finishing up their third EP when COVID-19 hit. Villeneuve describes Yard Arms sound as “transatlantic melancholic bops” which he sums up as “sad pop for dad bods” and their latest single is no exception. “These Four Walls” centers around honeymoon periods of relationships and the struggle of knowing that might not be the reality of the situation, while also touching upon the idea that this person must crazy to be with you. Initially, the band had “Mantra” as their lead single but soon realized that “These Four Walls” had taken on a deeper meaning. Villeneuve
recognizes that songs can have different meanings for different people, but wants everyone to know this was written before the pandemic even started.
Like almost everyone else right now, Yard Arms had to put their plans for the rest of 2020 on hold, but are currently focusing on writing and rehearsing. Villeneuve realizes that while this can be an inspiring time for some, but also a difficult, noting that he’s been stuck somewhere in the middle. Despite all the pressure to be productive, his biggest hope is to get out of this healthy and sane.
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Photos courtesy of @GLKmedia.
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