Over the past year, production/artist outfit Yes Please has dropped a series of gems, including their addictive single "All the Time," which premiered last September on Variance, as well as their most recent release "Susie," a hazy ode to the summer fling which arrived in May.
Their music has been a testament of their diverse musical loves and their background working on a wide variety of other artists' material, showcasing everything from big, bristling hip-hop beats to kaleidoscopic alt-rock and shiny, irresistible pop sounds.
For the New York duo made up of Matt Miggz and apob, it's all been leading up their debut project Updog, which is out on July 10, coming in the middle of a global pandemic, a massive civil rights battle, a recession and all the chaos that makes 2020—well, 2020.
"I’m happy that it’s happening but what it took to get the ball rolling, is overwhelming and sad," says apob of the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing unrest in America. "But I’m happy that maybe there’s actually change happening."
Yes Please had initially planned to put out their new release (not quite dubbed an "album") earlier, but they opted to delay it out of respect, giving space to the protests and the many projects focused explicitly on rallying people around the movement.
Abrupt change is nothing new for Yes Please. They're actually childhood friends, having played in different bands and then ultimately working together, making music and teaching each other how to record and produce, before pursuing separate paths, with apob diving into music production while Miggz pursued music photography.
Having worked with the likes of Travis Scott, Mac Miller, Mike Dean and others, they reunited in 2018 and began exchanging their creations online, resulting in what became Yes Please, with apob on production and Miggz on vocals. After they began releasing music publicly last year, they started building momentum and put out an EP with plans for a big debut in 2020. Of course, no one could have predicted the chaos of the last few months.
"The job I was working went under pretty quickly with the virus," recalls apob, speaking with Variance about the upcoming project. "It was like in the first couple days. I got a call, ‘We went belly up.’ Great. But honestly, it sounds terrible, but it was kind of a blessing in disguise, because it’s given me time to work on myself and also focus on the album. It’s been a ride."
For his part, Miggz admits this year has been challenging, even when it comes to working on something he truly loves. "Whenever I try to start something new," he says. "I will typically start questioning why I even bothered starting."
Of course, he's not alone, as this year has forced many to rethink their priorities but has also affected the music industry in broad, yet dramatic ways, forcing the cancellation of marquee festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza, scrapping essentially every tour, shutting down music venues, some of which won't ever reopen, while largely freezing much of the industry as a whole.
Perhaps it's these circumstances and the unpredictability of the future now giving the duo the motivation to put out their project and let the chips fall where they may.
Matt Miggz says the last few months have taught him to "get active and stay active" but also to "do your part as a human being and help out however possible."
apob notes: "We worked really hard on this. We’re very proud of it. In an ideal world, every song is a smash, I get to live next to Bill Gates and build my own studio. But yeah."
He also has what he calls a "pretty foolproof" to accomplish this, if only enough fans will "stream the album back to back for the next five years and tell their friends to do the same and then I use the money generated from the album to buy lottery tickets until I win the lottery."
Yes Please's new project Updog is out July 10. Listen to it below (updated)