Montréal folksinger Yitzy is learning to chill out.
new single + new name + tour
I first saw the words 'No Bad Days' in an art piece by my friend Katie. It was a salmon pink square with beautiful palm leaves and three words in a big, curly font. I saw it and said “That’s an album cover. I need to write that song.”
The song started out as a groove; just these simple chords that walk down in a bouncy, Vulfpeck-y turnaround. One day I was walking around Plateau and started singing “I had no bad days, before you came around…”. I realized the melody fit over the chords and beelined it back home. The rest came quick. They’re actually pretty sad, but they got wrapped up in this upbeat jam. I’m curious if people will notice. I brought the tune to my pedal steel player who wrote his awesome part. I’ve never heard anyone play steel like Dylan, he adds this tropical touch. I was like “Oh yeah, there are the palm leaves!”
When it came time to record, I knew I wanted to try something different. I reached out to Phil Bova who’s mastered my last two records (and most of my favourite Canadian artists- Bahamas, Jason Collett, Andy Shauf), and he was kind enough to invite us to his Ottawa studio. I felt I could trust him to capture the vibe, and on top of that I knew he played drums. I wanted to capture a full, live take, but wasn’t sure if we’d get it. Turns out Phil's an incredible drummer and we had our take by noon. The overdubs came easy, and we had a hoot nerding out with his vintage gear. One piece was the Space Expander, and an old spring reverb used by King Tubby. Phil ran the snare through and it perfectly highlighted that tropical flavour. It was nice to surrender to the universe a bit, I’m stoked on the track.
I released my first two records under my legal name, Isaak, even though everyone calls me Yitzy. I thought it sounded more like a serious folksinger. I don’t regret it, but moving from Vancouver to Montréal has been eye-opening. I’ve learned to chill out more and have stopped showing up to everything 5 minutes early. I’m thinking a lot about the mantra “Take your job seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously.” I think Isaak had a little trouble with that, but Yitzy’s loving it.
My band goes on the No Bad Days Tour in November:
Toronto - Burdock, Nov 9
Peterborough - Garnet, Nov 10
Ottawa - Bar Robo, Nov 11
Montréal - Le Cagibi, Nov 12