Ylayali – “He Needs Me”


Ylayali – “He Needs Me”

I do not know how to pronounce Ylayali, but I do know I enjoyed last month’s single “Circle Change” quite a bit. Now Francis Lyons, the Free Cake For Every Creature/2nd Grade/22º Halo drummer behind Ylayali, has shared another song from the project’s upcoming album separation. The latest track is called “He Needs Me,” and it grabs you right away with echo-laden guitar arpeggios and graceful violin. “I pray to the worms, birds, bats, fireflies,” Lyons sings in understated lo-fi. “Save my brain from my wandering mind.”

In a message to his Bandcamp followers, Lyons says the song is loosely inspired by another “He Needs Me,” the one written by Harry Nilsson and sung by Shelley Duvall on the Popeye soundtrack:

Ripping off Harry Nilsson / Shelley Duvall with this one. Though their version was created for the 1980 live-action Popeye movie (and that’s really where it shines), I first heard “He Needs Me” in the soundtrack of Punch Drunk Love when my dad was obsessively watching it sometime in the mid 2000’s and it’s been stuck in my head since then.

Back in 2017, Ylayali released a fucked-up “He Needs Me” cover for a compilation. This very pretty new “He Needs Me” isn’t a cover at all; I guess it just takes inspiration from the Duvall original? Listen below and figure it out for yourself.

separation is out 9/2 on Dear Life. Pre-order it here.

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