British folk-noir duo Wonders of the Yukon take inspiration from the scenery and peacefulness of the Yukon
Wonders of the Yukon frontman Andy Campbell lifts up his guitar to his webcam to display a pin of the ubiquitous Klondike miner seen on the license plates of Yukoners, and many more places, on his guitar strap.
“I just got that off the internet,” he says with a chuckle.
Though his band is from West Yorkshire, England, and has never been to the Yukon, a shared fascination with the territory’s mystical aura—the “nature, wilderness and rugged beauty”—between he and his bandmate Dave Langdale led the two to land on the name Wonders of the Yukon, after learning the band name Yukon Territory was already taken.
“I kind of knew vaguely that it was a place in the states—or in Canada, sorry,” he says, adding that the name Wonders of the Yukon sounds sort of science-fiction, like something out of Flash Gordon, and that he could picture himself opening a magazine and seeing “Wonders of the Yukon” scrawled across the page as a headline.
“We both agreed that it would make a great name, so that was the story behind it,” he says. “Dave and I would both love to come. It’s definitely our kind of place since we’re both into nature.”
Campbell says at a certain point in their lives, he and Langdale had become “disillusioned” and quit music altogether, before meeting through their wives and building a friendship. When they decided to write together, and went on to perform and record, things were different, and the overall feel was more fun and less risky, in that they were no longer trying to make a career out of it.
As Campbell entered middle age, he came to a reflective, existential point of his life, and found himself reflecting on the fact that he’d lived more life than he had in front of him. The idea of a peaceful, tranquil spot where time can seem to stand still was an image that helped keep him grounded, which is where part of his fascination with the Yukon came from.
“That beauty and that wilderness just really seems to fit with the music we make.”
While he hasn’t made it up quite this far yet, Campbell did visit Canada with his wife around 12 years ago when they did a road trip across the Alberta Rockies from Calgary to Jasper.
“It was fabulous,” he says.
Campbell was surprised to have media from the Yukon reach out to his band, and didn’t get what he was expecting when he was quizzed about the territory in a radio interview. He thought he would be talking about the band’s recently released single, and was completely caught off-guard, though he admits it was quite funny.
In March, Wonders of the Yukon released a new single titled “Rachel (And All The Goofs And The Stars),” a song that shows a slight departure from the band’s usual sound, incorporating more upbeat melodies and pop elements. Campbell was pleased with how people reacted to the change of pace, and while he doesn’t want to jinx it, there are a few reasons he’d like the single to push Wonders of the Yukon forward.
“If lockdown ends and we become a bit more successful and we could come and play a date in the Yukon, how great would that be?”
To keep up with Wonders of the Yukon, head over to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wondersoftheyukon/.