By Caleb Oldham
If you direct your attention to the map on your left you'll see the small town of Dokkum which Wikipedia tells me is known for "the assassination of the Anglo-Saxan missionary Saint Boniface in 754". What Wikipedia won't tell you is that since then Dokkum has been blessed with an industrious and creative dream pop scene led by a 19 year old genius cult leader named Yuko Yuko. Yuko's music is emotional, catchy and synth-heavy. If Atlas Sound was Dutch, listened to more Mac Demarco and Joy Division, and exclusively used gear from the 80's you'd get Yuko Yuko.
And I mean that in the best possible way - the young musician consistently puts out enough quality home-recorded material (not to mention his work with the multiple other bands he plays in, most notably The Homesick) to be compared to a Dutch Ariel Pink.
I got the extreme pleasure of sending Yuko Yuko some questions, and this is what I got back.
How have you been?
Bad, I've been kinda ill these last few winter days.
How would you describe yourself to someone completely unacquainted with your music and style?
Just look at the frontcover, and than decide to click on it or not!
You recently came out with one my new favorite Christmas songs "Under The Mistletoe" - do you have a favorite Christmas song?
No, not really, I like to listen to pop tunes from the summer during the winter days. It makes this period of the year less cold. And it also depends on the pop releases that came out this time of year. Like, the new Charli XCX leaked so I'm listening to that a lot, despite it being very winterish or Christmassy.
When did you start to get into the music that influences your own stuff?
When I was about 14 or 15 I think. I was influenced from a lot of 80's and 90's bands but later new music and local jokes and growing up became bigger influences on my music.
How has growing up in Dokkum influenced your music?
A lot, It's an isolated place in the north of the Netherlands. There are no international bands or even Dutch bands coming to this place so you're quite required to move away or to have fun with the friends you have in Dokkum. All my and Jaab's (The Homesick bassist) lyrics are about Dokkum. They're all anecdotes.
How would you describe your look?
Wannabe trash kid
How long does it typically take you to write a song?
Sometimes about an hour to write and record, sometimes a few hours to write and record. Not more than 5 hours most of the times, depends on the song.
How does your solo stuff differ from what you do with The Homesick?
The Homesick is a band I started with Erik and Jaab when I was 15/16. That's 2 years earlier than I started doing live stuff with Yuko Yuko. The Homesick is way more trashier and band-like than Yuko. Yuko is more sample driven and danceable, while Homesick more breathing out the teenage band spirit, that wants to make you smash your bedroom.
What Dutch artists should we be listening to?
Floris Bates & The Rented Friends, a fantastic lil' songwriter. Makes the best dirty pop tunes ever.
Rats on Rats, a punk band from Rotterdam.
When are you coming to NYC?
Don't know, not now <4
Listen/Download to Yuko Yuko here: http://yukoyuko.bandcamp.com/