Complete with cracking cover art and replete with cues to the impending Australian summer, here comes the debut self-titled EP from Brisbane lads Yale. Anything but the stuffy George W-producing University of the same name, their sound harks back to that golden period of disco-pop of the early-2000s where producers like Paul Mac were running the Australian dance scene. Vocals sashay between duo, Stefan Emslie and Mark Maxwell, riding over layered synths and those ‘whup-whup’ bass lines that seemed to pervade early 2000s dance releases (Madison Avenue anyone?)
Self described as an exploration of “being young”, the EP presents a dance-ready release teetering between the Chillout Sessions and the more traditional dance-pop that catapulted PNAU and Cut Copy to the fore. Tracks like ‘Private School Girl’ reach the EP’s conceptual pinnacle, dissecting the moors of upper-middle class privilege, opening with lyrics “always went to the most expensive school” and “Channel and Louis Vuitton” for starters.
The EP picks up in stature by ‘The One That Got Away’, a track that probably veers towards stronger elements of house, rather than pure dance-pop. Here you’ll find flurries of synths validating this EP’s calls of being ‘euphoric’. Towards the chorus you’ll find yourself immersed in the type of woozy synths which TEED seem to have conquered. Accompanying Yale’s EP is a remix package of ‘The One That Got Away’ featuring cameos from YesYou, The Kite String Tangle, and Meare.
The closer, ‘Lost in the Crowd’ sums up EP with smooth, breezy vocals that begs for this to become part of your summer mixtape. For a debut, the boys from Yale have given us a refined release that says a lot about the duo’s musicianship. With melodic sensibilities and a penchant for making great dance-pop, this is definitely a sleek release from this Brisbane duo.