Ylayali is the solo project of Philadelphia’s Francis Lyons, who’s put out a couple dozen collections of songs since 2009 in addition to playing in Free Cake For Every Creature. In February he released dog bone, a bundle of eight sparse lo-fi songs that skirt tender feelings and come unbound in parts, breaking down into buffering silences and machinery sounds. Following that were two songs as part of a split with San Francisco’s Boy Scouts for Apollonian Sound‘s Visiting Waters series in May.
There are points in Ylayali’s music that feel searingly intimate. The second of the songs on the recent split is a closing bracket, and it mends any distance between listener and song, the ring of coupled guitar strings blooming out into something sad and deeply familiar to underpin Lyons’ voice. In the video Lyons faces away from us, watching with us as the grainy vision of a ride through green and blue terrain unfolds. It’s entrancing in its quietness, the occasional sounds of traffic poking through, and the last words uttered, “pretend to be taking it all in,” hang around in memory even after the ride’s ended and the screen has cut to black.
You can hear Visiting Waters #3 below and purchase it here.