Band Of The Week: Yes You Are
You've probably already heard Kansas City band Yes You Are, as their song HGX debuted on Pepsi's Superbowl 51 commercial, and has played over 16,000 times since, all over the world. The song was also featured in the hit movie Bad Moms, as well as FX's Tyrant and MTV's Scream. "We play black pop." says Kianna Alarid, Yes You Are's intense front woman, "It implies that there might be shadows lurking, even in the shiny places."
Listening to their upcoming album, it is essentially pop, but they redefine the genre with each and every song. We hear gospel choirs, synth-covered dance rhythms and even guitar-heavy rock anthems, but the mainstay (and mainstream friendly) sing-along hooks are what binds all of their work together.
Alarid cut her teeth in the critically-acclaimed indie band Tilly and the Wall, touring through the mid to late aughts with bands such as She and Him, Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, Of Montreal and CSS, playing venues around the world and hitting major festivals like Coachella, Japan’s Summersonic, Iceland Airwaves, Reading, Leeds, Scotland’s T In The Park and Australia’s Splendor In The Grass as well as performing on Late Night with David Letterman and Sesame Street.
Yes You Are has shared the stage with the likes of K. Flay, Moon Taxi, Marion Hill, Lucius and Neon Trees.
We had the chance to talk to the band! Here's what they had to say!
Care to introduce yourself?
Hi! I’m Kianna Alarid, the singer and one half of the songwriting duo that founded our band Yes You Are. Jared White is the other writer and also plays rhythm guitar. At this point we are probably best known for our song “HGX”, which was in the 2017 Pepsi Super Bowl commercial and the movie Bad Moms, as well as being featured in a few tv shows.
Before Yes You Are I was in a band called Tilly and the Wall. We released 4 albums, toured the world and also played on David Letterman and Sesame Street.
We're completely in love with your new song. Can you tell us a bit about the song and the writing style behind it?
Yay! I’m so glad you love it! It’s pretty much a straightforward song about waiting and waiting and waiting for someone you truly love to come back home. Most people know what it feels like to be away from home, missing that familiar, sacred place; and most people also know what it’s like to be at home and feel like it’s incomplete as long as a certain person is away. Some things are worth waiting for, like how Penelope waited for Odysseus... classic.
Where did the inspiration behind the song come from?
Jared was playing the chord progression on the acoustic guitar and I just started mumble-singing along with it, and the first solid thing that came out was “Y’know I’ve been waiting, waiting for so long”. That became the thesis statement of the song. As Tom Petty said “the wait is the hardest part.” And boy oh boy was he right! If you want anything great, or want to be great... you’re gonna have to wait!
Let's get personal for a second! What are 3 things you would love your fans to know about you?
1. I don’t think I’m allowed to come out and say what I would really like them to know about me (pesky Illuminati rules)... but one thing I can say is that I live by the affirmation “I can be what I will to be.”
2. I come from a line of real cowboys. My 96 year old grandfather and his 101 year old brother were the grand marshals at the historic, centennial Cowboy’s Reunion in New Mexico and are written about in many articles and books regarding their respective work on the world famous Bell Ranch.
3. I’ve seen The Office at least 12 or so times all the way through. Just this last time I noticed many brilliant things I’ve never caught before, that’s how insanely genius that series is. It’s like it’s never the same twice...
Any upcoming shows in the near future? For a new fan who hasn’t seen you live yet, how would you describe your live performance?
We have some shows coming up, mostly in Kansas City, they’re all listed in the “Shows” section on our website weareyesyouare.com. I have so much fun performing and I have a weird amount of energy, so you’ll always see me either having fun and spazzing out, or getting really, obsessively lost in the songs. We love to put on a good show... we want to touch you with whatever it that is coming through us.
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