For the last few years it’s been the ladies who have owned the electronic music scene. Robyn switched things up with her electronic masterpiece Honey. The late, great Sophie broke new ground with her album oil of every pearl’s un-insides. Whilst Roisin Murphy and Annie returned triumphantly with brand new albums last year. But here’s a name you might not be quite as familiar with.
Joon is the alter ego of Maltese born singer-songwriter Yasmin Kuymizakis. She’s just dropped her debut album Dream Again, a new twelve track collection, that helps move on the legacy of the aforementioned ladies. It’s released on Italians Do It Better – a name that may not only be true, but a little sensitive after the UK’s recent Euros defeat.
Written and recorded in the aftermath of a car crash and a break up, Dream Again could have been a very different album to the one that made it out. There’s a lot of positivity on this collection of songs, both in the lyrics and the uplifting production. What hits me instantly, is the eclectic sounds that run through the album. On one side of a Joon is I’m the soft dreamy vocals, followed in the next breath with a far more edgy sound; a voice for every emotion.
The journey begins with the opening track and first single, E.T (an ode to the Spielberg classic?) As debuts go, this kicks things off with a bang. It’s a chaotic mix of bleeps and beats, mixing dance floor elements with emotive vocals. There’s plenty more moments designed for the dance floor as we go through the rest of the album; exactly what we need in a time where our dance floors have been off limits.
Watch The Sky has an electro-disco vibe, updating a genre from the seventies and eighties with a fresh approach. Nostalgia is clearly an important part of the album, as the next track up is a breathy version of Depeche Mode’s eighties synth classic Just Can’t Get Enough. It was one of the songs that helped launch the boys’ careers all those years ago. No doubt the new version will split opinions, as is always the case when covering such a well known track, but it fits nicely into the rest of the tracklist.
There are moments of greater reflection too, taking the pace down to a more gentle stroll. Meaningful Life is stripped back, letting the wistful vocals do the talking. Recent single Orqod is the only track on the album recorded in her native tongue, but the music speaks for itself. Closing track Feathers keeps us in a dreamlike state and brings things to a mellow conclusion.
What makes the album most interesting, is its ability to switch so seamlessly between her different sides. There are some really beautiful moments on Dream Again, and shows all the signs of a promising new artist.
Dream Again is out now.