By the time he graduated high school, Zander Yates had independently recorded and released upwards of 5 solo albums under various pseudonyms, using only his laptop’s built-in microphone and free digital audio software. Afterward, he traveled the west coast with his guitar, sleeping outdoors and busking on street corners, until finally hitchhiking to Seattle, Washington and cofounding the art-punk band Tres Leches (named by NPR as one of “15 Artists Redefining Seattle Music.”)
While sleeping in the band’s practice space he recorded his 2017 solo demo “ESC Key” with a borrowed digital 8-track and a cell phone. It was heralded by Martin Douglas of KEXP as “very much in the singer/songwriter vein but profoundly experimental, gesturing towards electronic and ambient noise music, bolstered by his singular charisma and perceptive, contemplative, and occasionally hilarious lyrics.”
ESC Key eventually made its way to Mike Hindert (The Bravery, Mike Hindert & The Wolf, Gone Sugar Die) who ushered Zander Yates into Merrifield Records in 2019.
Zander Yates’ first single, “The Singularity” is equal parts heartfelt serenade and whimsical rumination on nonlinear time, punctuated with a steady balance between raw emotion and dry wit “I hope you’re doin’ great, I’m sorry I was in the Matrix.” Yates performs every instrument on the track, blending elements of grunge, bedroom pop, and shoegaze into a uniquely melodic sound he defines as “psychedelic emo.”