The visceral elements of dream pop will guide us to pleasure
I don’t know what happiness is. It’s narrative has never been simple. It’s context is uninformed, and it’s graceful aging of realism taunts me entirely at the prospect of never attaining it. However, what I do know and lay claim to wherever possible is pleasure. It relies solely on its interaction with my senses – whether it’s a nuanced understanding or a climatic voyeurism of sorts.
When it comes to Emile van Dango’s levitating project Yellow House, pleasure fuels itself aside me and blossoms with the innocence of a new day. I started listening to this quaint, delicate stream of beauty that is Emile out of pure curiosity. He was a band member of both The Plastics and The Gumbo-Ya-Yas, whom I guess I never felt quite smitten with, so when his solo material came alive, I downloaded each track as they were released and let them live on my mobile in a safe folder that kept me company in life’s many moments: staring at the river in a transition of colour; finding solace in my bed after a tough day trying to keep my peace with the world and systematically keeping it shuffled on playlists as I drove through the seasons of my city.
So now, after years of writing and producing music from the confines of various bedrooms, Yellow House, a pseudonym for Cape Town based musician Emile van Dango, is making it’s soundwaves available to a like-minded and diverse set of ears.
With two singles given over to the web’s audiences, “Better Views” and “Stray” cannot be boxed into any one specific genre or sound. It’s a musical platform that incorporates both dreamy, ethereal tones and soul inspired grooves and melodies. The vision behind his sound was to find a balance between the light and the dark. Music that is emotive and soulful, but never overbearing.
With Yellow House, Emile wanted to continue writing from a personal place, while at the same time keeping the music groovy. He felt that Dream Pop had the ambient and melodic qualities, but lacked the soul and drive he found in R&B and Jazz. That’s when he decided to carve out a space where he could mix and match as he pleased until a sound evolved that captured everything he visualised.
“Better Views is a story of the desire to escape from the uncertainties and anxiety of city life, in any way you can. Better Views describes life as both a ‘dismal game’ and ‘a hellish tale’, while it touches on the escape routes that we choose, our ‘twisted rites’, the rituals of running in search of ‘better highs’, or any means of trading in our mundane views for something bolder, brighter and more vivid,” says Yellow House.
“Stray is a love story. As twisted and tumultuous as they come. It touches on the endless contradiction of wanting to escape the memories of an ex-lover, while simultaneously being taunted by the thought of them in everything you see. It asks the toughest question we face in love. Does the pain outweigh the pleasure? Or is love worth risking it all for?”
Both tracks have been released in anticipation of Yellow House’s EP A Carnival of Fears. His destiny is that of surety and acceptance, and I am quite certain, especially after these two tracks, that it will be a musical highlight of 2016.
Catch Emile van Dango playing his dreamy sounds at Endless Daze Festival