Yearlings wandering through complex emotions

Chris Parkinson and Robyn Chalken of The Yearlings are taking their acid-country style music on the road.
Chris Parkinson and Robyn Chalken of The Yearlings are taking their acid-country style music on the road.

THE Yearlings are dropping by Candelo this weekend as part of their All The Wandering tour.

The band has an American influence, but as their songs are set in Australia, member Chris Parkinson said it has led to a “bastardised Americana sound” and so describes their style as “basically acid-country”.

The duo of Parkinson and Robyn Chalken met in 2000 at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

In September that year Parkinson moved from Sydney to Adelaide to be with Chalken, and their first album came out two years later.

“It’s a great lifestyle to have together,” Parkinson said.

“We get to work together, travel together and probably spend more time as a couple than most people get.”

The Yearlings draw a lot of their inspiration from everyday life, and Parkinson recalls their song Blue Sky Boy developed after the duo wandered into a bad part of town in Memphis, where they stumbled upon a woman looking run down and desolate and that memory of the woman stuck with them.

“Once you get emotions from something, eventually it will manifest into a song,” Parkinson said.

The process of making their new album, All The Wandering, began last winter, when Parkinson and Chalken were in their studio recording a duet album, but started to hear more from the songs – horns, bass, backing vocals – so brought in drummer BJ Barker and bassist Harry Brus and pieced it together from there.

Parkinson said the duo was looking for an increased atmosphere with their new album.

“We wanted it to be an ‘album’ – all 10 songs working together to form a sound,” he said.

“So we spent a lot of time thinking about what songs we could set together to make it cohesive as a whole.”

At a gig a few nights ago, a man came up after the show and said they should compose for soundtracks as their music was so atmospheric.

When asked if soundtrack work was somewhere in Yearling’s future, Parkinson said he wished there was.

“I hope so,” he laughed.

“There’s a lot of money in it!”

For their concert in Candelo, Parkinson said audiences can expect it to be intimate and spacious, with stripped back versions of their new songs as they will be performing as a three-piece with drummer Barker.

Parkinson and Chalken will be playing a duet set before their band starts, where they will play some earlier songs. 

After the tour they will be performing in Western Australia as well at a few festivals and then potter away, writing more songs.

The Yearlings are performing at Candelo Town Hall on Saturday from 7.30pm. 


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