Part of Jul 2011 by
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Interview with Erick Crosby of Yourself and the Air

Starting in 2006 with the release of their first EP ¡Hola Mi Cielo!, Chicago’s Yourself and the Air found themselves on the relentless schedule of releasing one EP per year — Cold Outside Brings Heavy Thoughts To Think in 2007 and Friend Of All Breeds in 2008. After a three-year break — if you consider touring a break — Yourself And The Air released their fourth EP Who’s Who In The Zoo on Lujo Records in the Spring of 2011.

Yourself and the Air blew into Austin on July 25th to perform at The Mohawk in support of Who’s Who In The Zoo. AdobeAirstream caught up with Erick Crosby as Yourself and the Air were on the West Coast portion of their tour.

According to Crosby, “The leaving of Chicago has a big effect on our music. It seems like it is after a tour or trip that we usually do our writing.” For Who’s Who In The Zoo, Crosby, Jeff Papendorf and Drew Rasmussen transformed their empty Chicago house into a home recording studio. After a month, they came away with the seven tracks that comprise their latest 32-minute EP. Crosby comments that, “Recording at home was great because we didn’t have a time frame or any pressures of an outside producer or engineer. It gave us a sense of freedom and a stress-free environment. But, on the other hand, there are downfalls; like if we run into technical problems, or even problems within the band, there wouldn’t be an outside presence to smooth things out.”

Despite their five year tenure, Yourself and the Air is still relatively unknown — Who’s Who In The Zoo is their first EP to be released by a record label — so chances are a significant portion of the audience at their live shows have no idea who they are. Crosby jests, “I would prefer that [our audience] would be at their friend’s band’s show, with a good number of beers behind them, with no idea who we are.”

Whether you call it dreamy indie rock with spacey atmospherics or shimmery guitar-driven rock, Yourself and the Air’s music has a propensity for being spaced-out and effervescent, all the while featuring epic song structures and compulsive rhythms. Considering the ethereal and intricately layered structures of the recorded versions of their songs, Yourself and the Air certainly has their work cut out for them when attempting to reproduce their material during a live performance. Crosby says, “Our songs are difficult to play live — mostly because we lost a bassist, so we have to make up for that. But, out of the songs we do play, I’d say we do them justice.” There is only one way to confirm Crosby’s statement — experience a Yourself and the Air performance firsthand.

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