T.E. Yates’ bio written by Louis Barabbas, with some amendments and additions by T.E. Yates
Unassuming, unusual and enigmatic, T.E. Yates is a multi-disciplinary artist of rare and disarming qualities that must be seen and heard to be believed.
Most musicians boast of exploding onto their local scene in a glittering blaze of media hype and spontaneous applause. T.E. Yates, however, snuck in through an open window.
His name was not on the top line of event posters but rather a discreet artist signature in the bottom corner; his first gig flyers and album covers were ones he designed for other bands not himself. He’s performed in front of huge crowds but always as a hired hand or supporting player, a multi-instrumentalist in the shadows – mandolin, banjo, harmonica, even musical saw – you may have heard him on the tracks of other artists without even knowing it.
But now T.E. Yates has stepped out of the shadows, taking centre-stage with a formidable backing band (both onstage and on record) comprising members of Victorian Dad, The Bedlam Six, Mikey Kenney/Ottersgear, Gorilla Riot and Honeyfeet. Even when performing solo the man doesn’t travel light, his weird and wonderful drawings regularly making an appearance between songs, baffling and delighting audiences in equal measures.
His debut EP Possessed was released on Debt Records in 2013. His first full LP, entitled Silver Coins And White Feathers, was released on Debt Records in May 2017.
On Friday the 12th of November, Bristol-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist T.E. Yates will release his new EP Strange Weather, the follow-up to his debut album Silver Coins and White Feathers. Continuing the feverishly eclectic stylings of his previous records, Yates also maintains the songwriting prowess and wry honesty that have won him plaudits from radio, press, peers and fans alike. His unique sound weaves effortlessly through Americana, Folk, Old-Time, 60s Pop, 70s Songwriters, Post-Punk, Rock and even Jazz and Ragtime.
Yates is joined on record by a host of extraordinary musicians. Among them AMA – UK multi-instrumentalist of the year C.J. Hillman (Laura Marling, Yola, Billy Bragg, JP Cooper) on Pedal Steel and Mikey Kenney (Vinicio Capossela, Band of Burns) on Fiddle. Though ambitious in instrumentation, the mastery of the musicians on Strange Weather allow for the intimacy and vulnerability of Yates’ writing to shine through.
On the 1st of November, Yates premieres the accompanying video to Condition, the opening track of Strange Weather – a reliably forthright and honest song about his experiences as a neurodivergent person. For this video, Yates has teamed up with fellow neurodivergent creative practitioners through Biggerhouse Films’ Different Voices project. Among others, the video features contributions from much-loved Bristol gig-goer and artist Jeffrey “Big Jeff” Johns.
In support of the EP release, Yates embarks on a UK tour on the 13th of November with The Jesus Bolt (former members of both Witness and The Blue Aeroplanes).
Former label-mate and darling of the London jazz scene, Alabaster dePlume has this to say about Yates – “T.E. Yates is a beautiful character. He’s not quite like the rest of us…He presents us with absolutely nothing but himself. He aspires to no grandeur. He offers, simply, his very soul.”
It was hard for me to pick my favourite track from this EP, if I really had to pick one that has managed to stand out a little more from the other tracks it would be ‘Palace Of Your Master’, this single instantly builds into a memorable track full of energy and lyrics that make you stop and listen to every word, this single which instantly grabbed my attention and had me tapping along.
This EP combines classic sounds we love to hear with their own unique sounds, each track has its own special sound which makes this EP stand out but at the same time they work so well together in the EP. Your ears will undoubtedly adore every track on this incredible EP.
By Ollie Cooper