A rootsy three-piece whose sound puts a dark, punk-influenced undertow on the blues, the Yawpers play hard-hitting songs that touch on culture and class as well as the emotional trials of ordinary lives.
The Yawpers make music that is by turns intimate and anthemic, full of smart storytelling that bears the ring of truth. The band's first full-length album, 2015's American Man, was a rootsy effort that was dominated by their rough-and-tumble fusion of rock and blues, while the follow-up, 2017's Boy in a Well, was a raucous but literate concept album that moved back and forth between introspective acoustic numbers and full-on rock. 2019's Human Question found the Yawpers moving back toward straightforward guitar-centered rock, though their songwriting remained perceptive and passionate.
The Yawpers were formed in Boulder, Colorado in 2011, after singer and guitarist Nate Cook and guitarist and backing vocalist Jesse Parmet were looking to start a new project after their band Ego vs. Id broke up. Cook and Parmet originally meant for the group to be a low-key acoustic project, but after earning their stripes playing some of Denver's rougher night spots, the duo added drummer Adam Perry and as they amped up their acoustic guitars, the group developed its trademark sound. Taking the name the Yawpers -- the moniker was inspired by a passage in Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, "I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world" -- they began making a name for themselves in Colorado, and released their debut single, "Savage Blue" b/w "Heart on a String," in December 2011. In April 2012, Perry left the group to spend more time with his family, and James Hale took over behind the drum kit. Six months later, the Yawpers released a three-song EP, Capon Crusade, and the band began hitting the road hard in support. By mid-2013, the group had relocated to Denver, and ramped up their tour schedule; soon the group was playing close to 200 dates a year. In 2015, the band -- now working with drummer Noah Shomberg -- played a showcase at the SXSW music conference. The staff of Bloodshot Records, Chicago's gutsy roots music label, liked the Yawpers' sound and style, and soon signed the trio to a record deal. The Yawpers' first full-length album, American Man, was produced by Johnny Hickman of Cracker, and was released in October 2015. Two years later, the Yawpers returned with an ambitious concept album, Boy in a Well, produced by Tommy Stinson of the Replacements. In August 2018, the Yawpers introduced another new drummer, Alex Koshak, who was behind the kit as they began work on their third album. The hard-rocking Human Question was released by Bloodshot in April 2019. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi