REVIEW: Steve Yardin — Buzzin’ Fly (SINGLE)
True artists never stop growing with their medium, and in his cover of Tim Buckley’s “Buzzin’ Fly,” singer/songwriter Yardan challenges himself with the task of doing what few players can — taking someone else’s song and making it feel like your own. Yardan’s soft-spoken vocal is perhaps perfect for this material, both demonstrating his own range and capturing the essence of the original track at the same time; that said, there’s scarcely an instance in this performance in which it feels like he’s trying to be anyone other than himself. One of the greatest difficulties in making a cover song work is expressing part of yourself alongside the original tone of the narrative, but this is one single in which the performer makes it sound all too easy.
The integrity of the rhythm in “Buzzin’ Fly” is one of the primary reasons I find myself as attracted to Yardan’s delivery of the lyrics as I do. His is quite emotional vocal, but without the even tempo it’s at here, I don’t think that the verses would have the same kind of oomph that they do in this version of the song. There’s little urgency on his part nor that of his collaborator at the mic, and while he could have been a little more aggressive with his harmonies, I can understand the desire to go with something a little more conservative for this specific performance. It’s more an advertisement of what the stage show might sound like rather than a full-blown encapsulation of his artistic personality outside of the studio environment.
Despite the fact that Tim Buckley penned this song, every word that Yardan sings feels really personal and heartfelt, like they’re coming from his soul rather than someone else’s. It’s clear he identifies with the story he’s trying to tell as well as the melodic foundations of the composition in general, but he’s avoiding the pitfalls of replication as much as possible through tonal expressiveness — which is something a lot of his contemporaries fail to employ when covering material as intriguing as this song is. He’s someone who plans out every intricacy well before he ever gets into the recording stage, and I think his provocative take on “Buzzin’ Fly” is going to help a lot of critics to understand as much.
This is a decidedly more captivating look than most of the singer/songwriter content that’s been landing on my desk in 2022 thus far, and although I’m just now getting to know the music of Yardan, I’ve got a good feeling about what he’s doing based off of the depth of his performance in “Buzzin’ Fly.” This isn’t the easiest of compositions to cover, but his total lack of hesitation around the corner of every harmony is perhaps what sold me the most with regards to Yardan’s skillset here. I want to hear what he can do with some original content, but until then I think this is a pretty good sample of what he brings to the table.