Yusuf Azak - Smile Tactics by Song, by Toad published on 2012/10/16 10:01:42 +0000 On first album Turn On the Long Wire (2010): “'Swathed in an atmospheric mesh of sound ... cautiously captivating'” - Uncut “It’s airy. It’s also supremely affecting, in a way not very much strum can be.” - Drowned in Sound “once you fall into his world, it’s hard to escape.” - The Line of Best Fit “as beautiful and yearning a piece of acoustic whimsy as Elliot Smith or Nick Drake” - Subba Cultcha “his odd cadence and wheezy timbre might still surprise, but the songs herein are the finest, most accessible tracks he has thus far committed to tape” - The Skinny Yusuf Azak’s second album, Go Native, is due out in November 2012. His music seems to be somewhat mellowing with age. His first EPs were thickly layered with vocal loops and reversed guitar parts, and although by the time of his debut album, which we released a couple of years ago, his trademark live guitar finger-picking had started to make itself more evident, the dense layering of it all still baffled people a little. This new record is a little different. It’s lighter, cleaner and more straightforward, and I think this new directness might just make it a little easier for people to get into Yusuf’s gorgeously melodic songwriting. I’m not sure he’s ever written a more beautiful song than Swim or Sanctuary. And the easy hummability of the two singles Smile Tactics and Move Me Starlet is also a sign of a more direct, accessible approach. He tends to keep himself to himself, only to emerge occasionally with a finished album, so I doubt we’re ever going to be able to make Yusuf famous, exactly. But as long as he continues to make music I love as much as I love this, then we’ll be releasing his records as long as he wants us to.