Alex Pfender and Noah Dietterich are the duo behind yOya, part of the LA's current fabric of songwriters and indie pop tunesmiths. Following up their recent Go North EP from New Professor Records, Alex and Noah harmonize the directions and divisions of heart strung chords on the mellow gold premiere of, “Fool's Gold”. The two sing out the string of inner complications of courtly love departures where, “the feeling shines on”, long after the break.
“Fool's Good” gleams with it's own “faint, and precious light”, beginning with the exhalation of synths and soft guitar strums. Dietterich and Pfender pine over the various traits shared with the former lover, from green eyes met in the night to the dawn of morning light, and the mixed pain involved with parted paths. The inner thoughts surface in the song, as additions of chords and sonic production create a bright aura of ore to express monologues that were once cherished and shared dialogues. The baggage from the relationship carried through after is illustrated in the borderline regret repetitions of, “why did I go, why did I go”, to the last remnants of foolish pride like, “I could always love you cause I know how.” On “Fool's Gold”, yOya carefully aligns the fragments of leftover feelings in a blooming song structure that slowly shines to toast the diamond in the rough that got away.
Songwriter, guitarist, and co-vocalist Alex Pfender took a moment to talk to us about the yOya's new single, give us a close listening and reading of “Fool's Gold”, discuss songs in the works, and more.
What has evolved for yOya between your Go North EP and your “Fool's Gold” single?
Since our tour following the release of Go North, we've been spending most of our time writing new material. The process has changed a lot since we first started, and right now we're trying not to edit too much as new songs are just emerging. We're trying to follow through on ideas and see where they take us without worrying about whether the song 'fits into' our sound or our current set.
The notion of “Fool's Gold” is a big concept and title in a lot of pop songs, folk songs, and country songs. What does is represent to you guys?
In this song, it has the usual connotation of a letdown when you discover that something isn't as good as it seemed. But it also presents the idea that maybe despite being a fake, it has merit in its own way; that knowing something for all that it is might be more 'real' in the end. Also we're big fans of the L.A. band Fool's Gold and we certainly do not intend to steal any of their substantial thunder.
Was the song designed to have that aura of ore in the way the song opens up in that, “why did I go”, refrain at the end?
I think that the most interesting concept in this song is the idea that you really could love someone truly, even after you come face to face with their darker side. And of course in this song, the narrator decides to leave instead, and later wonders whether he should have stayed. So by having that be the sonic highpoint in the song, I feel like it helps underscore the emotion behind the line, which is what makes the song unique.
Next plans for yOya?
We've got some special shows coming in the next couple months. Look for us at the Bootleg Theater in March with local soul hero Moses Sumney, plus a west coast tour in April with Haunted Summer. We're finishing up a video for Fool's Gold that's coming to you just as soon as we can get it made. Meanwhile all this new music is building up in our brains and at some point this year it's going to burst out as an LP or a string of singles – watch out.
Notes on the LA scene, and the New Professor family?
The LA scene is wild and wonderful. We were played on the radio last weekend in a set with some really standout LA acts: Tapioca and the Flea, Kan Wakan, labelmates Body Parts — we're in very good company. New Professor represents what's best about music in Los Angeles: finding a way to sip from the firehose of bands here and discover the really special stuff that's fun and true and still has a soul. We're really lucky to have found a label with lots of faith in the music, lots of personal stake in putting out the best L.A. has to offer.
yOya's Go North EP is available now from New Professor Records.
Catch yOya on the upcoming tour Dates:
12 – Los Angeles – The Echo – with Mother Falcon
24 – Los Angeles – Bootleg Theater – with Moses Sumney
04 – Merced, CA – The Partisan – with Haunted Summer, The Echoing
06 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Crepe Place – with Haunted Summer
08 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel – with Haunted Summer
09 – Portland, OR – Valentine's – with Haunted Summer
10 – Corvallis, OR – Bombs Away Cafe – with Haunted Summer