YVI is a Dutch formation founded by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Diederick Brandsma. In addition to Brandsma, the band is comprised of childhood friends Lendert Andel (electric guitar/piano), Sebastiaan van Sliedregt (bass) and Sijmen Wijnja (drums). YVI conjures soul-raising alternative folk and indie rock akin to Damien Rice, Glen Hansard and Bon Iver. Though Brandsma remains YVI’s primary songwriter, the music is arranged collectively. YVI’s debut A Few Words Of Comfort was released on April 12th 2019.
The eight tracks (nine if you include the secret track in the end) embody a deep, intimate connection, one that gives A Few Words Of Comfort an emotional breadth that is quite rare. The creative choice to opt for simple instrumentation - acoustic guitar, drums, bass, guitar, piano and violin - is very deliberate and functional, guaranteeing a kind of comprehensive, universal recognition. "If you write music for someone else, you are less likely to make a daring choice that may be bold for yourself, but endangers the integrity of the story," Brandsma explains.
A Few Words Of Comfort has become a compassionate, thoroughly moving record, a gift from Brandsma to his loved ones. That personal fingerprint is very mutual. For the LP’s artwork, Brandsma approached every person to whom he dedicated a song, to write the lyrics in his or her own handwriting. This resulted in nine letters bundled in the text booklet, enveloped, protected and sealed by an old-fashioned stamp.
Though YVI’s existence as a full-fledged band is still relatively short, they have already accumulated some impressive footnotes. In 2019, YVI played a fully packed show at Brouwerij Martinus during ESNS. During the Explore The North festival in November 2018, a documentary titled ‘Soort Van Hetzelfde’ (Dutch for ‘sort of the same’) was shown, which was later broadcasted multiple times at national television (NPO2). For this documentary, Brandsma and Ukranian songsmith Boole traveled by bus from Ukraine to Brandsma's home province of Friesland. Not just to write music together, but to find out to what extent their respective worlds differ and correspond.