blackyaya

Does David Ivar love to boogie? Liberated from the reserved sound of French trio-turned-duo Herman Dune, and now manning all of the instruments himself as Black Yaya, it certainly sounds like it, especially on debut solo record opener ‘Flying A Rocket’. From the frivolous walking bassline to the fuzzy guitar jabs, those inaugural four minutes herald a joyous new lease of life for its project creator – the sort that Marc Bolan encountered after he put down the acoustic guitar and wheeled in the Vampower cab. It’s a formula that rears its glitter-spangled head elsewhere too, like on ‘Gimme A Gun’, which struts with carefree exuberance, despite being lyrically preoccupied with (from what I can tell) deeds of heinous revenge.

Yet Ivar’s first time striking out alone is an eclectic affair. ‘Vigilante’ is a brooding, spaghetti western soundtrack, and the first time where we truly get the sense of this one man band’s solitary working environment. It’s occasionally magical, but overshadowed by another lush slow burner, ‘Save Them Little Children’. Here, Black Yaya hits the dizzy heights of the great singer-songwriters, while the album’s centrepiece is his ‘Nights In White Satin’, born out of a hallucinatory state in a hotel room in Norway. It sounds like his former band in Technicolor, blown up and projected on a widescreen. So dreamy in fact, it makes you wish he’d channelled this otherworldly energy the whole way through.

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