Circling the intersection of ebullient synth pop and strutting indie rock, Canada's Yukon Blonde emerged from Kelowna, British Columbia in the late 2000s.
The group is led by singer and main songwriter Jeff Innes. After releasing a more folk-rock-minded debut EP, Everything in Everyway, in 2009, they shifted toward a heavier reliance on synths and bass grooves by their third LP, 2015's On Blonde.
Until they rebranded as Yukon Blonde in 2008, Kelowna's Jeff Innes (guitar, vocals), Brandon Scott (guitar, vocals), Graham Jones (drums, vocals), and Adam Newton (bass) were known as Alphababy. The group released two EPs (2006's You Gentle Crustacean and 2008's Alphababy Live) and served as both the opening act and backup band for Jon-Rae Fletcher before relocating to Vancouver and adopting the name Yukon Blonde. The quartet signed with Toronto label Nevado Records and issued the four-song EP Everything in Everyway in late 2009. A livelier full-length debut, Yukon Blonde, followed in early 2010 via Bumstead Records. After recording the album, Newton left the band, and they continued as a trio, hiring a bass player to fill in on tour. Their sophomore LP, Tiger Talk, arrived in 2012 on Dine Alone Records, and resulted in a Juno Award nomination for Breakthrough Group of the Year. During a self-imposed break for the group in 2013, Innes worked on his side project High Ends, which released the album Super Class in 2014.
Yukon Blonde headed back to the studio after adding Manchester, England native James Younger (Sun Wizard) to the lineup on bass, and again enlisted Tiger Talk's Colin Stewart to produce their third album. Released in mid-2015, the resulting On Blonde had a still more dynamic sound that embraced glam and synth pop influences. Rebecca Grey, who had played synthesizer and sung backup on the record. became an official fifth member, and the quintet followed On Blonde in 2018 with the like-minded Critical Hit. It was mixed by Tony Hoffer (Beck, Belle and Sebastian, the Kooks). ~ Marcy Donelson & William Ruhlmann, Rovi