yves jarvis opens up about the lush sprawling ‘sundry rock song stock’
By Nathan Leigh
September 29, 2020
The ever-mercurial Yves Jarvis treats his music like a painter with a landscape; the songs sprawl out in abstract gestures and spirals. It evokes nature despite being filled with synths and tape experiments. Folk, indie, R&B, jazz, electronica all become elements of his palette rather than genres themselves. On his latest, the intoxicating Sundry Rock Song Stock, hooks well up through the early morning haze before dissipating. The singles “For Props” and “Semula” feel like natural outgrowths of the more textural songs that surround them more than highlights; this is not an album that you want to skip around. We recently spoke with Jarvis about why he prefers to work alone (he plays every instrument on Sundry Rock Song Stock), and his holistic approach to art.
My favorite thing about Sundry Rock Song Stock is that it feels more like a single piece with movements than a collection of separate songs. Do you go into it with the full thing in your head? Or does it take shape as you go?
I’m very concerned with album flow and beyond that, song flow – beyond that, cadence. All facets of sequence are considered before, during, and after the project.
You’ve talked before about seeing collaboration as “cheating.” What do you find liberating about working by yourself?
It’s very liberating to engage all impulses within a framework – others can only get in the way of that. On the other hand, I work with angles – collaboration inherently strengthens that, which is why I entirely separate solo productions from groups.
If you were to “cheat” with anyone living or dead, who would you want to collaborate with?
When you’ve finished something, who’s the first person you usually play it for?
The love of my life, Romy Lightman.
There’s such an organic natur-y vibe to your music even when it’s synth-heavy. If instantaneous teleportation were a thing, where would you want people to go to listen to it?
My music is best suited for the forest and the mountains.
The painting you made on the cover really captures the vibe on the record. Which inspired which?
The cover was vividly clear in my mind from the beginning. I am by no means a visual artist, but I’m very blessed to have moments of translation when it comes to album covers.
You’ve described the album as being more political than you’ve been in the past. What are you hoping people will take away from Sundry Rock Song Stock?
Not so much addressing politics but rather the confrontation and rejection of Grid Reality itself; navigating life from the outside.
How has the pandemic impacted your creative process? How has it impacted your plans for the record?
My creative process is shielded from impact. I can work under any circumstances. If it were entirely up to me, I would release my albums upon completion, but I’m lucky to work with labels that at least prioritized my album coming out this year, which was a requirement.
What are you most looking forward to doing once it subsides?
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