Yeo walks us through his album, ‘Recovery Channel’
Melbourne-based Malaysian-Australian musician and producer YEO remains one of this country’s most consistent, ambitious and innovative artists. Prolific in his output over the years, he’s carved a spot out in the musical landscape that’s entirely his own thanks to his soulful, authentic RnB-infused pop, and his latest album, Recovery Channel is another shining example of this.
Released late last year, Recovery Channel is a detailed recount of Yeo’s experience as a person of colour “struggling to find confidence, a place to belong, and proof of his own humanity.” Tackling themes of love, hope, and the conflict that often also comes from the quest to seek those things, he embeds his reality into his music more than ever before while intertwining it with nostalgia and a universality for others to come along with him on his journey through it all. Tracks like ‘Six Years’, ‘The Comments’ and the Charlie Lim featuring ‘By Myself’ are just some of the versatile highlights he’s included on this record, while cuts like the JANEVA featuring ‘Always With Me’ or ‘Bear’ show that his ambition as a producer and artist is still very much at its peak.
To dig a little deeper into this record, Yeo has shared a track-by-track with us today in which he delves into the inner workings of each song. Check it all out below, and stream the album HERE.
The opener of Recovery Channel sets the mood and features a cameo from my friendly neighbour (the eponymous Japanese spitz) who played a pivotal role in rehabilitating my injured back. We walked together every day for almost a year and now we have a close bond.
This song has a dual meaning. Firstly, it’s a story about when I hung out with an ex-girlfriend overseas after not seeing her for six years, and our chemistry instantly returned. It was very surprising and dramatic, but also lots of fun. Secondly, it is about how I get tired of music sometimes, but I always fall back in love with it when my personal life turns into a dumpster fire. Please watch the sadboi snorkelling music video on YouTube.
Always With Me feat. JANEVA
‘Always With Me’ is a collab with arguably the best singer from Australia right now, an artistcalled JANEVA. It is an unabashed statement of musical dexterity that denounces the behaviour of co-dependency and devotion as two faces of the same coin.
I put ‘The Comments’ out as the first single from Recovery Channel. It’s an R&B slow jam about the futility sometimes found in online discussion, and highlights some of the social issues I was thinking about at the time of writing.
Growing up Chinese in places like Geelong and Brisbane banked me a lot of hurt and aggression. I still have so much love for both my hometowns, but ‘Restless’ takes direct aim at modern-day racists too lost to admit their prejudice. I try spin it positively at the end because we’re all tired of yelling.
‘4 Me’ mashes post-rock guitars and electronic bass distortion for a dark and minimalist aural cluster bomb. This one is about my daddy issues.
By Myself feat. Charlie Lim
My brother from Singapore Charlie Lim takes a verse on this duet. Lean back into the mellow bass-driven tones and gentle bounce. It sets a warm scene for two characters reaching out to each other after finding themselves in a dark place.
Don’t Let Me Blind You
To close the album, I wrote ‘Don’t Let Me BlindYou’ as a regretfully dreamy ballad drifting from the car tape-deck of a David Lynch film. Whitney Houston was the main reference. Hang out for the saxophone solo and a truck driver’s key change.
Image: Chris Yip
Introduction by Emma Jones