Adrian Crowley & James Yorkston – My Yoke Is Heavy: The Songs of Daniel Johnston
Four years after its initial low-key release, Adrian Crowley and James Yorkston’s homage to Daniel Johnston is made widely available for the first time. With its parcel-taped sleeve and hand-written inlay, the original run’s presentation (99 CD-Rs sold at Fence’s Homegame festival) neatly fit the music: eight evocative home-recordings that echo Johnston’s lo-fi tendencies whilst approximating his indelible mix of romanticism, surrealism and wistfulness.
The re-release may disperse some of that intimate, contextual aura, but otherwise the mini-album’s understated qualities remain sharp. Focussing on the decade in which Johnston’s legend was formed (i.e. the string of self-released cassettes and early studio dabblings produced in the 80s), Crowley and Yorkston imbue their reconstructions with nice atmospheric touches, from the echoes and vinyl crackle of True Love... to the clicks and whistles permeating Like a Monkey in a Zoo. My Yoke is Heavy is a joy for Johnston fans of all stripes. [Chris Buckle]