Nico Yaryan recorded a live version of his latest single “Old Gloria” with the folks at Convicts NYC at the offices of the Brooklyn music venue Baby’s All Right. The Californian singer-songwriter’s debut LP, What A Tease will be released in summer 2016 via Partisan Records.
Playing guitar along with a pianist, percussionist and bassist, Yaryan’s band creates an intimate and warm sound that bolstered by unexpected and unforgettable vocal hooks. Yaryan spent time as the drummer for San Francisco blues-rock musician Hanni el Khatib. He manned that gig for several years, though he felt a longing to create something that was his own.
“After a while, it wasn’t really doing much for me,” he says. “I wasn’t creating, I wasn’t contributing. It was always Hanni’s thing, which is great — it was a good job! — but it wasn’t mine.”
While touring the Dutch city of Amsterdam with Hanni el Khatib, he met a girl. Soon after returning to the States, he left el Khatib’s band, saving enough money to return to Amsterdam for a month, where he truly fell in love with the girl he met months earlier. Despite this whirlwind romance, life came calling and he had to return home to Los Angeles. Instead of turning his back on the new relationship, he found work at a marijuana farm in Humboldt County. By alternating between a month working on the farm in Northern California and a month in Northern Europe, he was able to make the star-crossed romance a workable situation.
Spending a month in solitude, working in the remote forests of Humboldt served fertile ground for creativity, as Yaryan was completely isolated from communicating with the woman he loved, who also happened to be thousands of miles away. This would become the thematic basis for his first solo full-length, What A Tease. The music itself takes cues from vintage R&B and soul, blues rock and folk, and the album’s second single, “Old Gloria,” is a perfect encapsulation of those ideas.
While Yaryan may sound like an unfamiliar name in a crowded field of alternative singer-songwriters, his music has been featured in shows like FOX’s Empire and a promotion for eyewear company Garrett Leight. While a full tour in support of What A Tease has not been announced, he will be playing with Curtis Harding on Sunday, March 3 at the Brooklyn Bowl. Yaryan has previously opened for artists such as Albert Hammond Jr. in Los Angeles and Sunflower Bean in Europe.