Yuko Yuko I Untitled LP
I love a scene that’s so interwoven it’s practically impossible to unknot, which seems to be the case with the Dutch underground these days. Here’s what I mean: Yuko Yuko is the solo project of Elias Elgersma, who plays in (Sub Pop recording artists) Homesick with Jaap van der Velde; van der Velde is joined in Korfbal with Leon Harms, who also plays in Yuko Yuko; Lyckle De Jong made a great solo electronic record in 2020 and he also appears on this demo collection alongside van der Velde and the rest. Or so I think! I haven’t heard Yuko Yuko before, but I know enough of their crew and the sterling reputation of Bergpolder to trust whatever this is to be cool. Turns out it’s a pleasant, easy-to-listen-to indie-pop outfit with mild psychedelic flourishes, kind of throwing things back in a retro paisley way while also not really. If anything, it reminds me of Ariel Pink circa Before Today, a well-written, indie-minded take on Beach Boys psychedelia, generally speaking. Not totally my thing, but I have no qualms with it either. Yuko Yuko would fit snugly in a playlist of artists like The Walkmen, Beachwood Sparks and even Father John Misty, though there’s a notably cheerful, care-free attitude imbued in these songs, presumably because of the world-renowned Dutch universal healthcare that surely nullifies the constant low-level personal uncertainty us Americans have buzzing in the background at all times. Must be nice!