Brighton based rock band Yonaka release their brand new mixtape Seize the Power on 15th July via Blood Records. The mixtape consists of eight tracks produced entirely by the band and focuses on themes of self-empowerment, hopefulness and acceptance; something we all desperately need whether we know it or not.
Opener Ordinary lulls you into the beginning of the mixtape, with a mixture of dreamy synths accompanied by vocalist Theresa Jarvis inviting you to “come sit on the edge”, before launching into a full-frontal attack of the full band coming in swinging. The title track Seize the Power is unlike anything I ever expected to hear from Yonaka and I LOVE that. Jarvis’ spoken vocals are really pushed to the front throughout this EP and give the band that much-needed angst that is clearly leading up to their continuing success. The dissonant keyboard synth breakdowns are absolutely addictive and make this song an absolute standout on the mixtape.
Get Out is a fully realised dance-pop track, and could easily turn off some fans who are after a heavier styling, but this new direction of style absolute suits them down to a tee and they should be commended for giving this new genre mixing a good old try. Raise Your Glass is an INSTANT anthem, no question about it. It’s a complete “sing-along at a festival with a piss warm beer held up high in the air” moment that we are all desperately looking forward to having. Guitarist George Edwards does an excellent job of blending the acoustic guitar tone to fit perfectly in the mix without being too subtle that it’s missed completely.
Clique sees our first excellent artist feature in the form of Jason Aalon Butler of FEVER 333. It’s biting, angry and pure venomous; you can practically feel Jarvis spitting the words in your face. Butler‘s verse is perfectly placed and doesn’t sound at all jarring to be there. To me, Clique is probably the highlight of the entire eight tracks. Greedy samples a clear memory belonging to Jarvis‘, with an unknown voice telling her, “hey Theresa, see, the thing is, you’re just not good enough,” followed immediately by a mocking laugh from the woman herself; pure gold. Bassist and keyboardist Alex Crosby absolutely smashes the shit out of the synths on this one.
Massive single Call Me A Saint is placed surprisingly late on in the EP as the penultimate track, but nevertheless sounds absolutely huge; Yonaka have absolutely found the perfect balance of their sound and it is heavily apparent in this scorcher of a song. The mixtape draws to a close with the dreamy lullaby that is Anthem. Crosby‘s natural piano chord progressions do wonders in showcasing Jarvis‘ vocal abilities, which then lead to a beautiful vocal feature in the second verse from Barns Courtney. Their voices harmonise perfectly and prove that this collaboration was an absolute genius move.
Seize the Power is an absolute calling card for Yonaka. Their 2019 album Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow was the band showcasing who they were at the time, but a whole pandemic later and this mixtape does the exact same thing but on a complete higher plane. The fact that this band produced this entire set of songs themselves and sounds like a full external studio record is super impressive in itself.
You can pre-order/pre-save Seize the Power here!