Yum-Yum

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Chicago, Illinois, USA-based art-rock group Yum-Yum is essentially the work of one man, Chris Holmes (c.1971, Chicago, Illinois, USA). Holmes is responsible for writing all of the group’s songs, and…
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Chicago, Illinois, USA-based art-rock group Yum-Yum is essentially the work of one man, Chris Holmes (c.1971, Chicago, Illinois, USA). Holmes is responsible for writing all of the group’s songs, and also for co-production, singing, guitar and keyboards, working alongside a constantly revolving team of sympathetic musicians and collaborators. What immediately captured critical interest about Yum-Yum’s debut album, 1996’s Dan Loves Patti, was the unusual instrumentation. Arranged by Holmes himself, the record incorporated string, horn and cello sections to animate Holmes’ dense, emotive songs. An early interview in Rolling Stone magazine drew comparisons with both the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Another comparison was drawn with the Moody Blues - Holmes admitting to using a Chamberlin 60s keyboard to play tapes of genuine orchestral instruments in the same manner that the Moody Blues had done two decades earlier. He also employs a mellotron, formerly used by the BBC for sound effects on the science fiction television programme Doctor Who. Indeed, his interest in science fiction extends to lectures on UFOs for college radio stations, and a dissertation on alien visitations at the University of Chicago. His first band, the Hawkwind -influenced Sabalon Glitz, were named after a Doctor Who character. Holmes had by now already established a reputation as an ‘auteur’, sharing his home with the staff of the Chicago literary journal The Baffler. Yum-Yum was formed in 1992 as an alternative outlet to Sabalon Glitz (he also has a third group, the ambient house project Ashtar Command). Holmes’ contract with TAG/ Atlantic Records entitles him to release music by any of the three bands (Sabalon Glitz’s first album, Ufonic, came out in 1995). However, Holmes was forced to abandon use of the name Yum-Yum in the UK after an existing group claimed prior usage - hence Dan Loves Patti was released credited simply to Chris Holmes.