I’ve fallen in love with “Yarn Blues” by Yarn Owl, a small pop trio out of my college town of Pullman, WA. The three attend Washington State University (my Alma Mater) and include on percussion Ted Powers (Ether Hour) and on bass Tim Meinig (Band Of Horses, Run River Run) and on guitar/vocals Javier Suarez. Javier’s demo, Note, Beat, Word Collection landed on my promo rack via a mutual friend.
What makes an artist like Suarez great is his ability to write crafty tunes that aren’t your standard form of indie pop; they’re light and overwhelmingly acoustic, but though he includes traits common in folk it’s not folk-pop. Furthermore, his vocal styling is unique and unfettered by modern influence. There is an amazing amount of creativity here that’s unparalleled.
With such a solid solo demo, it’s no surprise that several tunes have found their way into the Yarn Owl live rotation. “Paths Do Cross” is a tune the trio plays live, and it’s easy to hear why. “Me Fui” borders on a Devendra Banhard influence where other tunes like “Morning Rise” hint slightly of Page France. Yet one of my favorites is “What’s The Use In That?” which includes a rare (until you get to the second half of the demo) distorted electric guitar breakdown.
As a songwriter, it’s great to hear such young and seemingly unknown talent. It’s a trait that will likely remain only a short time longer, as the potential found in Suarez, as well as in his two cohorts Meinig and Powers, is extensive. Yet promise doesn’t seem to be the right term – Suarez is beyond merely showing promise. He’s there, he just needs to break free. And that is what I believe will come sooner than later.
UPDATE 3/26: Yarn Owl is now four… Tyler Armour is the additional member and plays second guitar.