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Who? After issuing a handful of EPs and two albumsunder the Levy moniker, Vermont native and longtime Brooklynite JamesLevy goes it alone for Yvel (Levy spelled backwards). On hisforthcoming self-titled debut, which arrives Feb. 12 via One LittleIndian, the 27-year-old singer/songwriter offers soft vocals andsoothing acoustic guitar with sample string arrangements.

What’s the Deal? Nearly every tune on Yvelwas penned seven years ago, and Yvel describes the brooding popcollection as lyrical ditties sans drums. “They’re like bedroom songsthat you sing to your girlfriend when everyone else is trying tosleep,” Yvel explains. From the lilting monotone dreamscape “PaintedRed” to the sunny love ballad “Burn Like Fire,” Yvel’s touchingdelivery breaks and soothes a few bruised hearts à la Morrisseyand Luna’s Dean Wareham. Ultimately, Levy would truly love a Yvelperformance to be a “grand event” accompanied by a 20-piece orchestra,which occurs only four times a year. Levy quips, “I feel like I coulddo really well in Italy or something.”

Fun Fact:After a British music fan described Levy’s former band as Coldplaybacked by the Strokes, Levy was so bummed out that he scrapped thewhole project and took eight months off to recover.

Now Hear This:
Yvel – “Painted Red” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
Yvel at MySpace

Talk: Yvel or Levy?