Nico Yaryan’s story reads like a Richard Linklater take on The Big Lebowski. Born to Cali hippies in the 80s, he grew up feasting on records in bargain bins, skating and trying to be the next J Dilla. That never happened, and he never really worked either, until friend Hanni El Khatib came calling one day saying he needed a touring drummer.
Why the hell not, thought Nico? So for the next two years he toured the world, learning guitar along the way. At some point, he fell in love with a girl from Amsterdam. Then he quit the band and moved in with her. Then he got kicked out of Holland and, brokenhearted, had to move back to LA, where he did the logical thing anyone in his position would do: started working at a weed farm.
“I would do it for one month, and then I’d go back to Amsterdam for another month,” Nico says. “Then I’d come back and I’d do it again; then I went back to her again.”
Out of those woozy, warped months came a batch of self-penned songs about love, loss and weirdness, set to be released via Partizan Records early next year and under the title What A Tease.
You could closely align Nico’s music with fellow breakout drummer Shaun Fleming, aka Foxygen’s sticksman, who makes beautifully soulful indie as Diane Coffee. There’s also a bit of Curtis Harding about him, and even Ryan Adams at his more snarky moments – I’m thinking ‘Nuclear’.
The track below, ‘Just Tell Me’ is the first taster of the record:
Nico Yaryan is playing NME’s showcase at CMJ 2015 on October 14, alongside Perfect Pussy, Protomartyr, Downtown Boys, Dilly Dally, Yung, Car Seat Headrest, Seratones, Hooton Tennis Club, Yak and Shopping.
Taking place at Santos Party House in Manhattan, CMJ badgeholders will get in for free, while there are also tickets on sale to the general public.