Yndi Halda (pronounced YIN-dee hal-DAR) are an indie-rock band from Canterbury, United Kingdom. 'Yndi Halda' is Old Norse for "Enjoy Eternal Bliss", also the name of their "self-titled" debut. The band's music is characterized by expansive, cinematic pieces that have seen the group compared to modern classical and post rock - however, Yndi Halda's work is usually considered more thematically optimistic or hopeful, and more song-based than artists of those genres.
Composed of members James Vella (guitar, glockenspiel, lapsteel, piano, banjo, organ and vocals), Jack Lambert (guitar), Brendan Grieve (bass), Daniel Neal (violin) and Oliver Newton (drums, tambourine), the band formed in 2001 while all of the members were still in school. Former bassist Daniel Lovegrove (also the sole member of Unstatuesque) was apparently only considered a band member during the recording of 'Enjoy Eternal Bliss'. In the summer of 2005, they began recording the three tracks that make up self-released Enjoy Eternal Bliss EP, which was finished in the autumn of that year.
The self-released edition of Enjoy Eternal Bliss was often reviewed favorably (although the band has copied negative reviews onto its MySpace site) and gained attention because of its distinctive, individualized hand-made covers.
They gained a strong fanbase from the self-released EP despite their limited exposure on the live circuit and signed to the acclaimed European record label Big Scary Monsters and Burnt Toast Vinyl in North America in 2006.
The world-wide release of the Enjoy Eternal Bliss EP followed in February 2007. It featured a fourth song previously unavailable on the self-released edition. The band were recently voted 'Ones To Watch in 2007' by Rock Sound magazine in the UK, who awarded Enjoy Eternal Bliss a near-perfect score in the February 2007 issue.
The band toured the UK, Europe, North America and Asia to promote the release of Enjoy Eternal Bliss. Recent live shows have also included performing at the Rhâââ Lovely Festival in Belgium, the Formoz Festival in Taipei, the Electrical Lands Festival in Paris and at the Barbican Hall in London.
The Insider's Guide to Beijing 2008 refers to the band's August 2007 performance in Beijing as part of their Asian tour as a demonstration of modern, western rock music becoming more prominent in the Chinese live scene.
New material has been debuted live since the last half of 2007, which has suggested a dramatic change in direction from the band. While previously almost entirely instrumental and electric, this new material has featured a notable shift to acoustic instruments (acoustic guitar, organ, double bass) and more vocal songwriting.
In 2006, Vella launched a new record label O Rosa Records, named after a passage from Herman Hesse's novel Steppenwolf. The label specifies an interest in "non-western, interesting folk music with lovely vocal harmonies and nice use of orchestral instruments, but not as a rule." Its first few planned releases are by Whip, Sylvain Chauveau, and Rivulets. The label's website can be found here, and its Myspace page here
Brendan also plays in progressive metal band Rise Of Raphia