At only 20 years old, Sydney Yeo has already had to climb some pretty Tall Mountains to get where she is today. But one thing is for sure: her love for music trumps all. Yeo, who goes by the apt moniker Tall Mountains hails from Singapore, a Southeast Asian island off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. After graduating High School, she interned at Snakeweed Studios, an independent recording and production studio in Singapore before moving to New York in August, 2011. Considering that Singapore’s record low temperature is in the upper 60s – a balmy Spring day in New York – she must have felt like she entered a perpetual winter wonderland. Currently, she is studying music engineering and production at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music and interning at record label Astralwerks – the home of Pet Shop Boys and Swedish House Mafia.
AND…in her spare time she is a musician – and a good one at that. She has performed at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn and at 92Y Tribeca. Her mellow melodies and soft, reserved voice garners unexpected passion. The saccharine strings blend with spry percussion and robust guitar. While pastoral, there is a certain fast-paced city quality to the music – an eccentric juxtaposition that plays to Yeo’s mixed inspirations. Perhaps this is best encompassed in “Who Told You,” off of the five-song Tall Mountains EP, which was released in November of last year.
See what I mean. Driven by rapid percussion and clear vocal ardor, the song still maintains a string-induced natural pulchritude – much like a pretty girl on a city street. This potent folk/pop is infectious and agrestic – even taking on some country elements.
“Better” has such an authentic 90’s folk feel it’s scary – like straight out of a Romantic Comedy from 1999. This isn’t a bad thing. The song is enjoyable – embracing a tapestry of harmony, vocal strength, and a sweet melody. It also features some of Yeo’s lyrical aptitude with lines like:
The glass on my window is black
I just swept the gray dust from my floors but I’m sure it’ll come back
Before I knew you, I was stewing in my own filth
You made me anew, now I don’t know how to live