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You, Me, Everybody - Album Review: Southern Sky

16 Feb 2021 // A review by Peter-James Dries

Deep within the matryoshka doll that is the country genre is a bluegrass doll in cosplay. Sitting on the fire escape of a rundown apartment building, dry buck wheat stem between its teeth, and a rock band shirt, progressive bluegrass is the genre that ran away from its home in the Appalachians and fell in with a different crowd. Appropriate then, to find it all the way down here beneath our southern skies, as far from home as one could possibly be.  

Safe in the hands of local practitioners You, Me, Everybody, bluegrass may not be the same kid that left their mountain town, but they haven’t forgotten their roots.

With their sweet vocal harmonies, and call-and-answer style instrumental licks, You, Me, Everybody’s first full-length album Southern Sky is the sojourn through forgotten regions of the human soul.

It may not be appreciated by Bill Monroe bluegrass traditionalists, but their kids are going to love it. Too upbeat for blues, too structured for jazz, yet taking elements from both and adding a smattering of classic pop sensibilities, the sweet musical tapestry You, Me, Everybody weaves is a nostalgia-inducing reminder of the good ol’ sounds of yester-year.   

Exhibiting more talent and emotional depth than the Instagram-influencing kids with laptops that dominate the charts, Southern Sky is never going to make waves in the mainstream, but in the eyes of closet hipsters, folk enthusiasts, and their hippy-denigrating grandparents, this is a golden release.

If you’re looking for a mid-week pick me up, look no further. Five stars of five.

You still have enough time to see You, Me, Everybody live in Whangateau, Katikati, and Hamilton on Feb 18, 19, and 20, 2021, respectively. More details on www.yme.nz. With this new album, there are now 11 new songs in their repertoire, compared to the 6 last time they took their shiny eyed New Grass sound on tour. That’s nearly double the value.

You can find Southern Sky on the You, Me, Everybody Bandcamp. 

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About You, Me, Everybody

Originally formed by brothers Laurence and Sam Frangos-Rhodes, You, Me, Everybody pushes the boundaries of what New Zealand knows of a genre that was formed on tradition and rules to create progressive bluegrass. While upbeat bangers are part of their repertoire, this is no pub band, but rather a collection of the best of New Zealand’s acoustic instrumentalists that are searching for a new, dynamic sound that showcases the best of Americana in Aotearoa.

Referred to as New Zealand’s first Bluegrass Supergroup, the excitement around their inception saw them play their first live gig as openers for The Felice Brothers as part of the Americana fest at Auckland’s Tuning Fork. They recorded their EP a week later and in February 2020, You, Me, Everybody released their self-titled debut EP, which reached number 13 in the New Zealand album charts. This debut also saw them named as finalist for the Best NZ Folk Artist, 2021 in the Aotearoa Music Awards. They were chosen as one of four international Bluegrass bands to be featured in the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Leadership Bluegrass forum, showcasing a performance by the band directly after a presentation by Grammy award winning, Sarah Jarosz. Their first full length album, Southern Sky, was released in January 2021, which again debuted in the top 20 of the NZ album charts.

Now in 2023 they feature in Netflix’s Sweet Tooth, opening Episode 4 performing their song Stranger as the inhabitants of Factory Town celebrate the discovery of the cure of ‘the sick’.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for You, Me, Everybody

Releases

Southern Sky
Year: 2021
Type: Album
You, Me, Everybody
Year: 2020
Type: EP

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