Bigfoot Yancey, Song of the Day: “Stranger”

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Local Indy band Bigfoot Yancey’s summer single sounds just as good as we say farewell to the final days of fall.

Happy Monday, LemonWire readers. We’re back this week with more music from local Indianapolis bands. Last week we featured a lot of rock and jam bands, so we’re looking to switch it up a bit by covering other genres for the next few days. And who better to start off with than one of Indy’s most popular Americana and folk bands?

Our song of the day today is the single, “Stranger”, from Bigfoot Yancey’s summer album “Early Years”. But before we get into the song itself, here’s a little bit about Bigfoot Yancey.

Bigfoot Yancey

Bigfoot Yancey is an Indianapolis based band that got its start in 2015 with their debut EP “Welcome to the City”. Their sound draws on inspiration from a variety of genres, but stays firmly rooted in Americana, folk, and bluegrass. A fully acoustic band, Bigfoot Yancey keeps their music as raw and stripped down as possible. Whether this stylistic choice comes from some Luddite-like stance against technology or from a need for a certain kind of creative expression is unclear. What is clear, is how surprisingly well their approach translates to high-energy live performances within virtually every venue of the city.

Bigfoot Yancey has performed at numerous concert venues, bars, and music festivals, throughout the state of Indiana. They were a featured act for the past two years at the Virginia Avenue Folk Fest, and also played the Indianapolis Wine Fair and Indy Pride Fest.

Since releasing their debut EP in 2015, Bigfoot Yancey have released two other albums and several singles. While they may not be as prolific as some other local bands, Bigfoot Yancey release well-crafted and professional albums, taking the time necessary to get the music right. “Hills” was released in 2017, along with the two singles “Blue Clouds” and the title track. Last July, Bigfoot Yancey released their second full length album, “Early Years”.

Bigfoot Yancey consists of members Mike Angel (vocals, guitar), Jerin Kelly (guitar, harmonica), Loran Bohall (banjo, mandolin, saw), and Kevin Grove (bass).

Stranger

“Stranger” is the single released for Bigfoot Yancey’s 2019 album, “Early Years”, as well as the opening track on the album. It’s a song that most people who like bands such as The Decemberists and Mumford and Sons will enjoy. I don’t mean to say that as a dig, but as an observation of their stylistic similarities.

Acoustic guitar is the main instrument that dominates “Stranger”, with a steady, rhythmic strumming that carries through most of the song. Mike Angel’s vocals come out strong with the melody, and do a good job of serving as an anchor. While one could argue that there isn’t enough dynamic movement in “Stranger”, there is still enough buildup throughout to make it interesting.

One surprising element to “Stranger” was the horn solo, which comes in halfway through the track, and again in the outro. It’s a bit of an unexpected sound coming from Bigfoot Yancey, but fits well in the song.

The lyrics to “Stranger” are somewhat vague in their specific meaning, but include concrete visuals and an emotional through-line that doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Pull the cork out of the bottle / Watch the taillights fade away / These problems come, but you can’t solve ’em / Live to fight another day”

“Like a stranger in the night, come and go without a trace / Disappear into the wild, no one ever saw your face”

“Now the rain is coming down / Let it wash it all away / I think I’d rather be alone / And live like this another day”

Final Thoughts

Overall, Bigfoot Yancey’s “Stranger” is a solid track. At first listen, it seemed almost overly simple and cliche. But on repeated plays, when you start to hear the nuances planted and the care and attention to songwriting, “Stranger” shines. There may be a lot of Americana and folk bands out here in Indy, but it’s clear that Bigfoot Yancey’s music stands out like a sore thumb. But in a good way. Be sure to stay on the lookout for them as they continue to make appearances in the city.

If you liked listening to “Stranger”, you can find out more about Bigfoot Yancey by finding them on Facebook, or visiting their website. You can listen to the rest of “Early Years” and more by heading over to their Bandcamp page.

Finally, if you’re looking for more coverage on Indianapolis music, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re bringing in local artists, and giving them a platform to perform in our space.

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