Welcome to your childhood, as told through the weather-worn experiences of your present. On his debut album, Yev Kassem brings you home.
Yev Kassem is the man, the myth, and the legend that only the real ones know about. He’s that urban legend that your older brother and his friends tell you on your first night out, wide-eyed and knobbly-kneed. He’s the part-time dave the band frontman and full-time pop advocate who once lifted a whole ass Commodore over his head, bandmates and backline inside.
Now, he’s chucked another mythology into the suburban landscape: his debut album Joy Is A House Made Out Of Tears. It’s on this album that Yev finally slows down, takes stock of his experiences, and puts pen to paper. Indie-pop in style and bloody brilliant in nature, the album is a collage of stories, each glued down by raw acoustic accompaniments that hit you right in the chest.
Pull up a chair, crack open a beer, and let Yev tell you a story or two.
Joy Is A House Made Out Of Tears sands down the suburban landscape into its most romanticised form. It’s those late nights curled up in your car, overlooking the countless stars thrown across at skyline. It’s those summer nights that feel like they last forever. It’s your tears staining the driving wheel as you sit outside your childhood home.
Yev has created something that is as heartbreaking as it is a caricature, a fragile satire armoured in bold colours and whimsical lyricism.
The album sets its tone from the beginning: suburban folklore sprinkled with melancholy and nostalgia. Peanut Butter is this ethos in a nutshell. A doleful, acoustic-driven track that balances its themes of addiction and trauma with an off-beat sense of humour, Yev does a flawless job of blending folk, Australiana, and indie-pop with heart and compassion.
Yet, it is often easy to lose sight of Kassem’s visceral lyrics among the dreaminess of his melodies. But this isn’t dreamy in the traditional sense. The album snaps and bends like traditional folk, teetering on the edges of indie-pop in the process.
No track captures this better than She’s Not Alone: soft ballad that slowly and methodically builds itself towards hope, empowerment, and the richness of indie-pop. One of the strongest songs on the album, it anchors the anthological record with the repetition of its title, “joy is a house made out of tears”, before building into a chorus that just grows exponentially more life-affirming. It’s almost the beacon of life that pushes you past through inevitable heartbreak.
“Joy Is A House Made Out Of Tears is a postmodern comedy-drama precariously perched somewhere between the mundane and the miraculous,” the artist’s bio explains. “It encompasses entities, places and events that appear to exist outside the scope of the generally accepted laws of nature. Warm, tender and devastating, JIAHMOOT is a bold work of compassion and fragility.”
Suburban tales of childhood that are minced with dark humour, bold colours, and a talent for introspection, Joy Is A House Made Out Of Tears is a shining light into the genius of Yev Kassem. It isn’t very often that we find an artist as willing to walk the line of humour, trauma, the painfully relatable, and the unbearably real.
Dive into this incredible release below: