Yorkston/Thorne/Khan – the trio of James Yorkston (guitar, nyckelharpa, vocals), Jon Thorne (double bass, vocals) and Suhail Yusuf Khan (sarangi, vocals) – is pleased to announce their new album Navarasa: Nine Emotions. At the heart of the trio’s transporting new record is the Indian subcontinent’s concept of navarasa – the nine (nava) emotions or sentiments (rasa) of the arts. This central unifying underpinning is a centuries-old organizing principle and on the record, YTK has paired each song to one of these emotions. The individual artistic emotions range from Shringara (love, beauty) through Hasya (laughter, mirth, comedy), Raudra (anger), Karuna (sorrow, compassion or mercy), Bibhatsya (disgust), Bhayanaka (horror, terror), Veera (heroism, courage), Adbutha (surprise, wonder) to Shanta (peace, tranquillity). A bricolage of diverse cross-cultural elements is apparent across Navarasa: Nine Emotions. Yorkston weaves in Scottish folk, sangster and literary strands; Thorne is grounded in jazz and groove; and the New Delhi-based, eighth-generation hereditary musician Khan brings Sufi and classical Indian music to this feast of pulses and cycles. What binds these diverse musical strands together is, in Yorkston’s phrase, “a dark happiness.”

Focus track “Westlin Winds” starts with the life-destroying Act I of Robert Burns’ poem Now Westlin Winds, (And Slaught’ring Guns) and transplants its disjoined, nature-extolling and life-affirming Act II onto Indian soil with a composition “in Purbi, a specific dialect of old Hindi. I learnt the song,” says Suhail, “by listening to various qawwali [Muslim devotional song] singers singing at Hazrat Nizammuddin’s dargah [shrine] in Delhi. Its source is Hazrat Amir Khusrau.” Another highlight, “The Shearing’s Not For You,” is a traditional song that tells a story about a soon-to-be-mother, being abandoned by the itinerant father of their soon-to-be-born child. Many Hindustani musicians instinctively shy away from Bibhatsya because they choose not to soil their art with disgust, but here it clearly informs the story within “The Shearing’s Not For You.”

“Bravely original” -The Guardian

“A wonderful tapestry of sound, with every element intricately woven… quietly mesmerizing.” -Music OhM

“All nine pieces serve to demonstrate that what is common amongst these contrasted traditions is far greater than what divides them; a simple, intuitive truth that needs repeating more than it still should” -Loud & Quiet

RIYL: Junun, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Bert Jansch, Fairport Convention, George Harrison, Donovan, James Yorkston

Recommended Tracks: Track 1, “Sukhe Phool,” Track 2, “The Shearing’s Not For You,” Track 4, “Westlin Winds.” Our digital servicing includes shortened radio edits of tracks 2 and 4. 

FCC WARNING: Track 5, “Song For Oddur”

Label: Domino

Going For Adds 2/4

Skip to toolbar