Sunday 20 January 2013

Night Beds - Ramona

Recording as Night Beds and due to release his debut LP in February on the Dead Oceans label, Winston Yellen seems to have spent the last two years searching for musical inspiration, and then making the very most of it. Despite already walking a musical path with three EPs under his belt, Yellen began feeling that his life had recently grown, "aimless [and] lacking direction." A period of moving from state-to-state and working menial jobs reached its end when a friend pushed him to return to Nashville and get himself back on track. Armed with a loan, he rented an out-of-town house that was previously owned by Johnny Cash and June Carter, and begun to write and record music once again.

The result is 'Country Sleep', an album that seems unable to deny the American roots in which it was conceived. And second single 'Ramona' is a perfect sample of Night Beds' country-inspired indie-pop/rock.

Each verse pleads, "Come on Ramona," with guitar slides and upbeat drums, all of which suddenly fall away at the chorus to isolate a set of vocals laced with a saddening distress. The instruments soon gather round once again to keep the song fighting its cause, until we reach the final glimmers of rekindled love and faith.

"With a heart that always fails,
My love's gone off all the rails,
I'm like a ship without a sail,
Drowning underneath the waves."
(full lyrics:

Compared to the more angst-ridden first single, 'Even If We Try', 'Ramona' has a more positive series of stops on its route. Even so, the emotional diversity remains and is a testament to Yellen's honed writing.


"Drums usually seem to tune themselves"- Levon Helm

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