I think finding great-sounding bands with lots of potential and reviewing their music might turn into a habit and I would love to make it happen. YONAKA are my latest obsession with their heavy and melodic rock riffs, real, life inspired lyrics (plus amazing vocals by Theresa Jarvis), and evident passion and heartfelt execution. Their debut album Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow convinced me they are worth talking about and I truly believe people need to hear their music. So here I am with another album review. I hope you enjoy it!
It is a well-known fact that the United Kingdom is a thriving place for breakthrough music formations which are sure to get big eventually. An undeniable talent, passion, and love for music in the country brought punk, rock, and everything in between to life and there are countless examples – Bring Me The Horizon, Neck Deep, While She Sleeps, and Vukovi to name a few. And now I can gladly and confidently say YONAKA will be joining the hall of fame. The band has an extremely attractive style, passion, and high-quality music which will capture your heart easily.
The album is refreshing. One the first listen you would probably mostly pay attention to the killer rock instrumentals and vibe – energetic, often aggressive (with some exceptions), powerful, confident, and most definitely enjoyable. Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow is a modern rock record which is sure to jumpstart the career of YONAKA in the best possible way and it talks about things which we cannot afford to ignore. A good thing to notice is that despite the modern rock sound which dominates in all of the tracks each of them has its own mood and vibe. A perfect combination of on-point vocals and supportive instrumentals set the mood for each song incredibly well and contribute to making the message clear, understandable, and as powerful as it can be.
When it comes to debut albums I usually don’t expect a big concept unveiling itself sophisticatedly after each track. In this case, I wouldn’t say there is something huge behind the debut record but there is definitely something which unites all the songs making the album seem like a whole. Doing your research on the band will lead you to a hint about their debut as well – Yonaka translating as “dead of night” from Japanese illustrates the reason Theresa decided to go into music – exploring the darkest parts of her mind and opening up about subjects hard to talk about. And this is what Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow is all about – real life experiences which deal with depressing thoughts, anxiety, and fear seem to be the inspiration of the album and all those topics blend into each other to create its essence.
Yeah, they got style!
The very first piece – Bad Company kicks things off and introduces the energy which will dominate during the entire album. It deals with regret, fear, anxiety, and even depression and explains those states of mind quite accurately. The topic about depression and overthinking persist during the eleven tracks in the record in different forms. In Lose Our Heads YONAKA‘s lyrics serve to transmit an empowering message giving hope and courage about overcoming your fears and living your life in a way which will make you happy. Wake Up and The Cure, which are the closing tracks of the record, gracefully wrap up this theme by heavily emphasizing that there is a way out of every dark place and hopeless (on the first glance) situation. However, there is a stronger reminder present – Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow is definitely the most powerful and comforting song on the album with a clear encouragement of seeking help when you need it and not making the mistake of keeping things inside yourself. YONAKA remind listeners that there will always be someone willing to hear us out and understand if we gather the courage of speaking up about our personal struggles.
Exploring the album in its eternity showcases another theme which persists in the majority of the songs. Love and love related hardships are explored in detail and in an impactful and resonating way in Guilty (For Your Love), Creature, and Fired Up. The songs flawlessly intertwine with the rest of the album and explore the strongest emotion of them all in different contexts. While Guilty (For Your Love) shows the power and comfort of having someone next to you who helps you deal with your demons and shows that two broken pieces can perfectly fit together Creature takes a different context and shows that sometimes people are only able to love you at your best and they turn away when you need them most. Another song on the album – Punch Bag illustratively shows a toxic and abusive relationship and calls for self-love and respect in a powerful and persisting way. In a similar matter, Awake tells a terrifying and chilling story which seems to be taken from one of the personal experiences which leave a permanent scar.
Finding out they supported Bring Me The Horizon on their EU run of the world turn and I missed them broke my heart a little
Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow has a tracklist worth looking into and exploring in details. It might not be a polished masterpiece but the songs do flow into each other smoothly and they all have the energy and passion which you will associate YONAKA with. It is brave, honest, relevant and without a doubt a great album. The Brighton fourpiece talked about things which had to be said with style and grace showing us the importance of vulnerability and honesty. I am without a doubt looking forward to their next projects and I will be keeping an eye on them – give them a few years and you will be seeing them headline shows and hearing crowds of thousands chanting their lyrics.