Meet Yolanda Be Cool, an Australian EDM Duo Donning SWEATRZ & Tooting “Hip Trumpets”

Yolanda Be Cool
Yolanda Be Cool
“Hip Trumpets,” the first single released from their new label, SWEATRZ, speaks to Yolanda Be Cool’s positive energy and impressive connections in the Sydney creative community.
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Stream: “Hip Trumpets” – Yolanda Be Cool

From the beach, to the nightlife, to scuba diving, to chilling happily with kangaroos, it’s hard to imagine how anybody could fail to have a good time out in Australia. Even when musicians there try to make sad songs, the sheer nature of their living environment sends them in the opposite direction. At least, that represents the experience of Yolanda Be Cool, a duo that’s been pumping uplifting electronica out of its native Sydney for the past 15-odd years.

“When we try to make dark, cold music, it ends up being happy and party,” Andrew Stanley of YBC reports. “I think that’s probably got to do with the lifestyle here. It’s a super fun and lovely place to live— we go to the beach every day, I take my kids down to skate before school. So, even when we go to the studio to make moodier stuff, it ends up having sort of pool-party-house vibes.”

Those very vibes have dominated the group’s output since it first formed— in fact, even before then, when they were just two young guys in Sydney partying and DJ’ing every weekend in the early 2000’s. Stanley and his future bandmate, Matthew Handley, would often have overlapping DJ shifts at various venues in Kings Cross, one of the city’s prominent entertainment districts. Through that experience, the two got to better know each other personally and also became familiarized with their approaches to electronica.

“We were always DJs first,” Stanley recounts, “and then… we started to make music and tracks for our sets. Then, we started to look for record labels. And the rest is history, there. That’s the birth of our career in a short sentence, basically.”

Yolanda Be Cool are the Australian duo of Andrew Stanley and Matthew Handley
Yolanda Be Cool are the Australian duo of Andrew Stanley and Matthew Handley

Around 2009-10, Yolanda Be Cool first formed and began publishing its earliest tracks and remixes, including what remains its most internationally prominent hit, “We No Speak Americano,” a joint project with fellow Australian producer DCUP. Over the ensuing decade-plus, YBC has continued to perform and publish themselves, while also launching several of their own indie record labels—  Club Sweat, Sweat It Out!, and now a brand new one called SWEATRZ.

“Sweat It Out! and Club Sweat all started out with the ethos of just releasing super credible dance music with an underground tip… [and] they’ve had some crossover commercial success, with artists like Dom Dolla, RÜFÜS DÜ SOL and Crooked Colours,” Stanley explains. “SWEATRZ is basically another record label like that, where we just wanted to release super credible, club-focused underground dance music. It feels like it’s a really good part of the family.”

The duo recently released their first single from that label, entitled “Hip Trumpets.” The title instrument is performed in stellar style by their fellow Sydneysider, Liam Kivijian, aka KVISION. Some additional bass, piano and percussion all contribute to the “jazz lounge meets house party” atmosphere of the track.

Hip Trumpets
Hip Trumpets – Yolanda Be Cool

“Liam sent some trumpets over, [and] Matty and I worked on some beats,” Stanley describes the song’s online origins. “It was a lot of back and forth, but in the end, we were super stoked with how it turned out.”

The liveliness and feel-good vibe of “Hip Trumpets” is consistent with YBC’s signature approach, and also represents a gesture of support to other musicians— who, as this duo has observed, have a much darker side of their lifestyle to reckon with once the dust from the wild rave parties settles.

“Basically, the music industries suffers disproportionately compared to other industries – you’re 60% more likely to have suicidal thoughts and anxiety,” Handley explains. “You speak to anybody in the industry— traveling artists, tour managers, lighting guys – everyone suffers from the travel and it’s hard to stay healthy.”

Yolanda Be Cool
Yolanda Be Cool

Releasing happy-sounding songs like “Hip Trumpets” is one way that YBC are able to offer some sort of consolation to their stressed-out musical peers.

They also promote good cheer via the Baseline Happiness Project, which Handley co-founded and is designed to boost happiness across the creative community via group meditation courses.

“Baseline Happiness [promotes] self-referral (or baseline) happiness, and that’s happiness that comes from within,” Handley explains. “It’s happiness where you can get a clear perspective of what’s happening in the outside world, and then you become a lot more steadfast in your happiness. Obviously, that’s a much more sustainable way of living…. It’s about alleviating that suffering from within.”

In the end, anybody looking to have their spirits boosted is in good hands with Yolanda Be Cool, and the feel-good party groove “Hip Trumpets” is an excellent demonstration of their smile-inducing capabilities.

“Our only goal in making music is making songs that sound good in our DJ sets, and that’s kind of the benchmark for whether we’d release it or not,” they said to Atwood.

Given that “Hip Trumpets” is  officially out of the gates, it appears the duo had confidence with this track in that regard. Hopefully, it’ll proved justified as they give the song the live treatment at festival and DJ gigs throughout the new year.

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Stream: “Hip Trumpets” – Yolanda Be Cool

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Hip Trumpets

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