May 29, 2020
Yes Chef!, the latest project from songwriter and guitarist Leith K. Ali of It Looks Sad and Ol Sport, is preparing to release their first collection of recorded material. Previously a solo project of Leith’s, Yes Chef! has expanded into a full band with traditional rock instruments, as well as brass and woodwinds. They utilize the clarinet and trumpet in their songs to create depth and a texture of timbres that provide a lush backdrop for Leith’s lyrics about the working-class struggles of modern day America. Their sound pulls from the slower, more melodic side of emo, with songs that focus on storytelling and contrasting dynamics. Almost all vocals feature accompanying harmonies, helping to create the expansive sound that the group cultivates.
“Chelsea,” the debut single, explodes into existence with a triumphant trumpet lead over strummed distorted guitar, pounding drums, muscular bass, and a complementary clarinet line. As the trumpet fades the song takes on a sweet lilt as vocalists Leith K. Ali and KC Marie Roberge begin to sing to the eponymous Chelsea. The song seems especially prescient coming out now, with lyrics about how “the world is full of chaos” and “the days passing are flowing through your head while you’re lying in your bed again.”
Their debut self-titled EP due out on June 12 has five songs, as well as a quick additional intro to “Chelsea.” “Waiting Room” and “Empty” are the most energetic tracks of the bunch. “Waiting Room” includes some excellent trumpet and slide guitar parts from Ben Bradford and “Empty” lets Peyton Glendinning’s clarinet flourishes really shine. Bassist and vocalist KC Marie Roberge, who creates visual art through KC Marie Graphic Design, also designed the album cover and logos. Drummer Alec Whittington holds the music together with precise and measured parts that help drive the songs to their peaks and accent the rhythmic pulse of the other instruments.