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Yndi Halda – A Sun​-​Coloured Shaker

Yndi Halda became overnight post-rock sensations when they released their debut album/EP in 2006. Enjoy Eternal Bliss may not have made the same worldwide dent as Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s F♯ A♯ ∞, but it became the ‘word of mouth’ discovery at a time when post-rock was probably at its zenith. What caused this cult phenomenon? Some will point to the fact the young Hastings (now Brighton and Canterbury) act were barely out of school. I just think the record was so good. Enjoy Eternal Bliss was the A Walk Across The Rooftops (The Blue Nile) of its generation – easily recommendable, universal in its appeal yet, at the same time, flying completely under the media radar. The fact that the band came seemingly out of nowhere (school) and then seemingly disappeared (they didn’t) for a decade only added to their mythology.

In fact, mainstay James Vella has never really been away. He has explored a wealth of side projects including A Lily, running a label and writing fiction. Yet James resurrected the Yndi Halda moniker a year ago on comeback-album Under Summer and it was like they had never been away. Four tracks, each running to well over the ten minute mark, explored the vagaries and interchangeable nature of post-orchestral, progressive and post-rock. If that sounds daunting, think again. What Yndi Halda do is highly accessible.

A Sun-Coloured Shaker can be seen as a sequel or extension to Under Summer. The EP shows a continuation of the choral harmonies that defined Under Summer. This is ostensibly one 12-minute track, yet it feels bigger due to its movements and progressions.

“Like a terrible comet coming to hit the earth,
and writing a list of things you would save first”

The band reference A Sun-Coloured Shaker as the passing of night that follows Under Summer’s day. Keyword here is “passing”. We speak here of the dawn that follows dusk. The resultant piece is therefore loaded with hope and beauty. During the many years that led up to the release of Under Summer, the band knew that A Sun-Coloured Shaker neither belonged ‘on’ the album, nor was quite ready. At the same time there was the feeling it belonged alongside the album. Thus releasing it as an EP on Sound In Silence was a clever move. The Athens imprint has become synonymous with quality, particularly its limited-edition physical releases. A Sun-Coloured Shaker is no exception, available both as download, plus a mere 300 one-sided, etched CDs.

It’s as lovely as anything they’ve done.

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