OLDEN YOLK is the solo project of Quilt’s Shane Butler, who recently celebrated the release of his 2nd full-length album as a member of QUILT with January’s ‘Held In Splendor’ (Mexican Summer).
While just a handful of tracks have been released under this nom-de-tune, Butler’s latest Olden Yolk track (here, the romantically titled “Snow Orchid”) should find instant appeal among fans of Quilt’s gently droning, finger-picked guitar-based vibrations. Much like Butler’s own organically-dainty drawing pictured as the central image in the Youtube clip below, “Snow Orchid” reveals its charms through warm childlike repetitions and the aural-fidelity of crisp but fleeting chalk-drawings fading in the sun.
At center focus in this track is a circular arpeggiated riff and a layer of drones which calls to mind both Sufi music and eastern-flavored psychedlia (66 Beatles, etc), as well as Butler’s precise, almost-British phrasing on the nature themed lyrics. A dulcimer and a colorful twinkling keyboard that almost sounds like a spinning wheel fills out the rest of the arrangement. As an extra surprise, the song fills out with a deep, bassy vocal hum that sounds impressive coming from the pixie-like singer.
Butler should follow this muse, which acts as a refreshing, more experimental complement to his work with Quilt.