Review

Yum Yuck’s latest EP A Crab With Sunglasses On is a quirky conceptual offering

After the release of “Crowd Pleaser” – Yum Yuck’s evocative, groovy island crawl – we knew that his new EP A Crab With Sunglasses On was going to be special. Out today, the four-track project is a glistening acoustic-synth offering that presents a fish-out-of-water narrative about a wandering Crab Man, grappling with his purpose in life.

Real name Pascal Righini, Yum Yuck’s musical palette is an instrumental kaleidoscope, each wavy guitar chord a lo-fi summer’s dream, and A Crab With Sunglasses On reiterates that sound, with some quirky R&B additions for good measure.

“The idea was not to overthink the naming [of the EP] and to go with my instinct. I made a summery, fizzy, lo-fi indie EP so I wanted it to have a summery name. I thought what is summery? A Crab With Sunglasses on, that’s what,” says Righini.

The release is also accompanied by a series of cryptic visuals on Righini’s socials, each one expanding the Crab Man narrative.

As “Crowd Pleaser” dissolves into second track “Waiting” there’s some sense of urban melancholy that tinges Righini’s bedroom production, and it’s dazzling. Layered synths bring an orchestral feeling to the soundscape of the song, before a clangy electric guitar riff makes way for the subtle neo-soul musings of “Crossing Paths”. Think Tom Misch meets Matthew Mole.

“I wanted [the EP] to feel like a message in a bottle, but in audio form,” Righini tells me. “Part voice note, part love letter. I wanted it to feel a bit raw too, a bit idealistic and romantic but not overly nostalgic,” he continues.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Still Woozy, Francis and the Lights, Hether, Gorillaz and Rex Orange County, A Crab With Sunglasses On is perhaps one of Yum Yuck’s most diverse projects, and in broadening his sound, he lets us in on some of his more experimental ideas.

Closer “City of Strangers” centres around a warped and muffled vocal line before crisp acoustics take us back to the summery synth vibes Yum Yuck does best. It’s my favourite of the four songs, and hopefully marks a new direction for future releases too.

“The chords really help decide the feeling of the song for me,” says Righini. “I then use a mixture of stream of consciousness and one liners from my notes app to conjure up stories based on different thought experiments or life experiences. Whether it’s one line or a whole verse for me, each song contains a few key sentiments that tap into that strange undefined collective unconsciousness.”

It’s no surprise that Yum Yuck’s music-making process is a little unconventional. He likes to get lost along the way, taking his music to unexpectedly beautiful places.

Cover photo courtesy of Lauren Waller.