YONAKA have never been a band that subscribes to half measures or empty sentiments, but their latest mixtape, ‘Seize the Power’, offers an even clearer directive than ever before. It’s titled with an obvious call to action and one that can’t be misconstrued. Plain and simple, it extends a reassuring hand to all those who have struggles, of any shape or form. And after hearing every track on here — not just the blazing singles — it’s apparent that they’ve come out of the pandemic kicking and screaming, and stronger than most outfits put together.
While each song on this record deserves credit for its own individual merits, it’s simple to sum up the general takeaway message: YONAKA aren’t messing around. This mixtape is ferocious, inspiring and spoiling for a fight.
You should already be familiar with the mighty ‘Seize the Power’, the first single that began the build-up to this larger release. It’s all about tackling things head on, facing demons and pushing through boundaries. Those same barriers are later explored in ‘Clique’, one of the previously unheard. It’s an explosive ripper that enlists rapped help from FEVER 333, and it’s a new favourite of mine. It’s more personally targeted and spits in the face of validation simultaneously. Very slick. I also put it to you that it’s a great example of why music is often the ideal outlet for internal anger.
Going back to the beginning of the offering, ‘Ordinary’ is far from how it sounds. It’s equally punchy and sets the mood for the can-do attitude of the whole record. Meanwhile, there’s a pulsating trance rhythm to the electronics of ‘Get Out’. It’s another fear-nothing piece lyrically, but it has a particularly catchy style to it, instrumentally. And if something poppy is more up your alley, ‘Raise Your Glass’ is something of a cheerleading hit.
‘Greedy’ — with its token, almost arabesque melodies sewn into the chorus — is more about Theresa and overcoming adversity. It’s well placed among this collection of in-your-face tracks. After this, ‘Call Me a Saint’ cleverly makes an appearance. This song feels inclusive and focuses on the need to reach out, which creates a comparison to what influenced their 2019 track, ‘Don’t Wait ’Til Tomorrow’.
Deftly bringing the mixtape to a close, the delicate keys on ‘Anthem’ with Barns Courtney ring through and exhibit YONAKA’s much softer side. There’s no edge here; it’s a stripped-back, tearjerking tale that needs acknowledgment. Don’t skip it because it isn’t as rough-and-tough as the others; play it because it’s different.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Clique (ft. FEVER 333)’ or ‘Call Me a Saint’