“Bigger and Bolder and Louder”: Yot Club’s Ryan Kaiser Invites Us into the Wonderful World of ‘Rufus’

Yot Club © Ariel Fisher
Yot Club © Ariel Fisher
Yot Club’s Ryan Kaiser has gone “bigger and bolder and louder” with his sophomore album ‘Rufus,’ all while staying true to himself through playful, passionate indie pop songs that shine bright with his own unfiltered, down-to-earth humanity.
Stream: ‘Rufus’ – Yot Club




From the beginning, I wanted to take the SoundCloud way of posting music and do it on regular streaming apps.

There’s something instantly endearing about Ryan Kaiser’s Yot Club.

Unlike other clubs that go by different spellings, Yot Club is open and welcoming to anyone and everyone. There’s little to no fees for you to access and enjoy all that Yot Club has to offer, and – perhaps most important of all – Yot Club is charmingly intimate and unapologetically down-to-earth.

This has been the case for Kaiser’s no frills, all thrills music project since day one: Ever since he uploaded his first track to SoundCloud in 2019, the singer/songwriter and producer from Mississippi has approached songs with community and connection in mind. His music, while not always autobiographical, has always felt deeply human – and it is this quality that shines through the most on his sophomore album. Playful, passionate indie pop comes to life on Yot Club’s charming and churning Rufus, a vibrant and vulnerable record of raw, unfiltered humanity. On his most intentional release yet, Yot Club stays remarkably true to his roots while going “bigger and bolder and louder” than ever before.

Rufus - Yot Club
Rufus – Yot Club
we learn so much to make our chances tall
avoiding comfort, alone late climbing walls
the point that i wanna make
is i’ve learned to fall

and after a certain point
there’s no pain at all
to find a future blend into the past
a whole new way
to carve our names into the pole
yeah the point that i wanna make
is i’ve learned to fall

and after a certain point there’s
no pain at all

the past is a blur
i can’t help but move along

and after a certain point
there’s no pain at all
– “Stuntman,” Yot Club

Released March 29, 2024 via Amuse, Rufus is dazzling, dynamic, and endlessly enthralling: The follow-up to Yot Club’s 2022 debut album off the grid finds recent Brooklyn transplant Ryan Kaiser confidently expanding his artistry and elevating his sound to new heights, all while consciously crafting a lively listening experience full of cathartic highs and brooding lows.

“With the first album off the grid, I feel like I rushed a bit. It feels like a big EP to me, like it’s kind of a quick listen,” Kaiser tells Atwood Magazine. “I wanted to slow down and make something more substantial that was quality all the way through. I also wanted to make something that would translate well live, which is something I didn’t really think about in the past. I kind of want it to set the precedent for stuff going forward.”

when i get away from home,
the thoughts just fade away

an old picture on the phone,
it brings me to that day
nostalgia, it follows you
i never meant to let that feeling go
thoughts are gone, insomnia
i never meant to learn the hard way
if i don’t know what’s right,
i’ll just make something up

stumble through this life,
until i’ve seen enough




The result of those efforts is a record that engages its audience on multiple levels: Yot Club’s songs almost always have a solid kick and a good bounce, yet below the surface is an equally compelling amount of depth and substance.

“I wouldn’t say stuff is confessional as much as observational,” Kaiser reflects. “Sometimes I make songs about stuff I deal with, but other times it’s about things I see other people deal with.”

The album’s name Rufus can be seen as a character, onto which we can project Yot Club’s colorful array of emotions. Kaiser explains that, the way he sees his music, each song is a world unto itself. “The album is kind of non-linear and the songs don’t run into each other. It’s kind of like a cartoon in that the episodes reset at the beginning of each one. So I wanted to create a character or a mascot of some sort.”

Yot Club © Ariel Fisher
Yot Club © Ariel Fisher

Whether you’re in it for the “vibes,” the sweet tones, the catchy tunes, or the visceral expressions of one soul’s unadulterated, unabridged humanity, Rufus promises a provocative and enriching journey for all. Suffice to say, Yot Club’s club continues to be worth the membership!

Atwood Magazine recently caught up with Ryan Kaiser to talk about all things Rufus and more: Dive into Yot Club’s sophomore album in our interview below, and catch him on his North American headline tour with Boyscott this spring!

“I hope people enjoy it all the way through,” Kaiser smiles. “I really want it to be a no-skip album where it’s hard to decide what your fave is. I also want people to come out to the shows, because these are going to be super fun live!”

— —

:: stream/purchase Rufus here ::
:: connect with Yot Club here ::
Watch: “Human Nature” – Yot Club



Yot Club © Ariel Fisher
Yot Club © Ariel Fisher

A CONVERSATION WITH YOT CLUB

Rufus - Yot Club

Atwood Magazine: Ryan, congratulations on Rufus’ release! This album arrives just two years after your debut LP, and you even released an EP in-between! So to say you’ve been prolific would be an understatement; what’s been driving all that creativity, do you think?

Yot Club: Thank you! I am not sure, I’m really just always making stuff. I record from home so it’s easy to work on stuff whenever. It’s a little harder to be productive with all the shows I’ve been doing lately, so I hope people don’t mind the gap.

On the flip side, there are so many artists I can think of who take years in-between releases of all kinds. You’ve never really had that ethos; since 2019, it feels like Yot Club has been the engine that can, will, and does. What’s been your driving force behind this project?

Yot Club: When I started the project, I was a big SoundCloud person and there was kind of this whole other world on SoundCloud where people just casually released music on a weekly basis to a small community. It was like an island on the side of the main music scene on Spotify and it had more of a homey neighborly feel. Everyone on there kind of knew each other.

From the beginning, I wanted to take the SoundCloud way of posting music and do it on regular streaming apps. And since I made everything at home it was easy to work on it a lot. I’m from Mississippi and it’s quite cheap, so once I started making $400 a month from Spotify, I quit my jobs. Then the pandemic came shortly after so I was just always inside making stuff.

To that end – and because I couldn’t find the answer online - why the name Yot Club?

Yot Club: I don’t know, I just think that’s how it should be spelled. I lived by a lake when I started the project so I think the nautical theme subliminally crept in a little.

Have you, or would you ever, be a member of a yacht club?

Yot Club: Hahaha, I don’t think I would. Owning a boat looks stressful and those people would also stress me out.

Yot Club © Ariel Fisher
Yot Club © Ariel Fisher

This brings us to your new record. Can you share a little about the story behind this record? Where, for you, does Rufus fit in the greater “Yot Club” repertoire?

Yot Club: With the first album Off the Grid, I feel like I rushed a bit. It feels like a big EP to me, like it’s kind of a quick listen. I wanted to slow down and make something more substantial that was quality all the way through. I also wanted to make something that would translate well live, which is something I didn’t really think about in the past. I kind of want it to set the precedent for stuff going forward, I guess.

What was your vision going into this record, and did that change over the course of recording this?

Yot Club: I knew I wanted to slow down and put a little more attention into the arrangements and dynamics. I was listening to a lot of Grandaddy and Galaxie 500 which is when I made “Rufus” and “Lazy Eyes,” and I eventually realized I needed to make some more upbeat stuff to mix in there. I wanted it to be more bold and lively but still sound similar to the old stuff. It was like summer 2023 when I started to figure out what the album was gonna look like and from there the songs started getting easier to write.

How do you feel Rufus captures your artistry, especially compared to off the grid and amateur observer?

Yot Club: It is a lot more well thought out and intentional on this one. I really whittled it down to ones I felt good about and took my time making sure everything was right. It feels like more of a comprehensive listen from start to finish, and each song has something different to offer. There’s less redundancy and a lot more dynamic changes throughout.

I've read a lot about these songs and your transition into life in New York City from Nashville. When you hear Rufus, do you hear Brooklyn? What about your new home city comes to mind?

Yot Club: Yeah, I made the majority of the album at my place in Brooklyn. But I kind of think of a lot of places. “Pixel” and “Drowning” were recorded in LA, “Human Nature” in Connecticut, “Too Far Gone” at an Airbnb in London and “2084,” “Lazy Eyes,”  and “Rufus” were all recorded when I lived in Nashville.

That's really cool, so it's a pastiche of many places. Why the title “Rufus”? I know you’ve got the penultimate track with the same name; who is “Rufus” to you?

Yot Club: I kind of wanted to create a character to project the emotion on the album onto. The album is kind of non-linear and the songs don’t run into each other. It’s kind of like a cartoon in that the episodes reset at the beginning of each one. So I wanted to create a character or a mascot of some sort.

I love the energy and, quite frankly, the sonic diversity embedded within “Stuntman.” What inspired you to open the record with this song?

Yot Club: When I wrote it I was planning on it being an opener – not just for the album, but for the live shows. I didn’t want to cold open on a single-type song, I wanted to ease into the album tastefully but still make something that could be enjoyed as a stand-alone song. I remember trying to think of which song should go first and none of them felt right so I figured, “Why don’t I just make something that’s made to go first?”

You then hit the heartstrings with “Nostalgia,” one of the album’s singles: “I never meant to let that feeling go... I never meant to learn the hard way,” you sing. How did this song come to be, and what role does nostalgia play on Rufus?

Yot Club: It’s a pretty simple song, it’s about how people romanticize nostalgia whether it is good or bad. You can see an old picture or something and it unlocks a feeling from that time you haven’t felt in a while. You can look back on times of your life that were blatantly shitty and still romanticize the nostalgia. It’s weird.

You deal with a lot of self-reflection and emotional reckoning throughout Rufus; “2084” stands out for me personally (it’s one of my favorites), but all of these songs have their fair share of deep diving lyrics and provocative performance. Can you share a bit about this song, and how you yourself approach these songs; are they often confessional, diary-like entries?

Yot Club: Yeah I’ve thought about that, in a weird way this is like my version of a diary. I made that track instruments first and it had a futuristic feel so I kind of centered it around that lyrically. I wouldn’t say stuff is confessional as much as observational. Like sometimes I make songs about stuff I deal with, but other times it’s about things I see other people deal with.

On the topic of favorite songs, do you have any definitive go-to’s or personal highlights off this record?

Yot Club: I love “Other World,” I’m glad I included it. At first I was like “I can’t put something this goofy on the record,” but then I thought about how much it would rip live. I also love “Human Nature,” “Pixel,” “Nostalgia.” Like I said I whittled  it down to my faves so it’s hard for me to pick one. But there’s a good few I’m really excited to do live.

As a lyrically forward artist as well, do you have any favorite lyrics in these songs?

Yot Club: On track one, “A whole new way to carve our names into the pole” I like. Because that’s kind of what making an album and putting it on the internet is. You’re making / expressing something that’s meant to be seen and enjoyed for years to come.

What do you hope listeners take away from Rufus? What have you taken away from creating it and now putting it out?

Yot Club: I hope people enjoy it all the way through. I really want it to be a no-skip album where it’s hard to decide what your fave is. I also want people to come out to the shows because these are going to be super fun live!

Yot Club © Ariel Fisher
Yot Club © Ariel Fisher

Speaking of live shows, your tour starts in late April. How do you plan to bring Rufus' songs to the concert stage? Do they require any major manipulating, and what's got you most excited when it comes to the upcoming live show?

Yot Club: I’m bringing on another guitar player, my friend Ian. So, we’ve got a 4-piece setup for the US and Europe tours. These songs were made to play live, so there’s no key changing or manipulating needed. You can expect it to be bigger and bolder and louder with some other surprises in there too.

In the spirit of paying it forward, who are you listening to these days that you would recommend to our readers?

Yot Club: Loving the new Bob Jr., Dent May, 22 Degree Halo, Lo Noom, This is Lorelei and Fanclubwallet has a new thing that’s cool.

— —

:: stream/purchase Rufus here ::
:: connect with Yot Club here ::
Watch: “Pixel” – Yot Club



— — — —

Rufus - Yot Club

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? © Ariel Fisher

Rufus

an album by Yot Club



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