Since introducing themselves to the scene, Yonaka kept growing and cultivating a dedicated, responsive fanbase. Their close communication with the community and extraordinary drive to create comforting powerhouse rock music helps them distinctively stand out from the crowd.
The strong start with debut EPs and touching full-length Don’t Wait Till Tomorrow established a promising foundation. Now, the band is back with the new era focused on giving the community the needed reassurance and push to find the strength and power within. Seize The Power is here and you need to get on board.
Yonaka is one of the bands that successfully rode the waves of huge interest and hype after their thunderous entrance to the scene. The Brighton four-piece stole the attention of alt/rock lovers in 2016 with debut singles Ignorance, Drongo, Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya, quickly followed by five new explosive tracks in debut EP Heavy (2017).
Some old but gold stuff. Notice the energy, it gets bigger with every new release.
The powergroup became one of the UK’s notable breakthroughs following up on their debut with two more stunning EPs and a smashing full-length in 2019. Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow captured the band’s essence in terms of sound, lyrics, messages, vision, and style.
The debut album was my introduction to the band. You can read my impressions and track by track review here.
The record contains the goosebumps-inducing alternative rock energy of electrifying guitars, earthshattering drums, soaring and emotion-fueled vocals. The eleven tracks set the foundation of what Yonaka would use as their biggest strength from that point on.
One of the most effective title tracks in existence, verified
Don’t Wait ‘Till Tomorrow is a record filled with comfort, understanding, and empowering tones, making listeners feel less alone and more comfortable in their own skin. Each track is a strong reminder of the importance of self-love and self-worth that also brings out the necessary attention towards mental health and anxiety issues.
The Stripped Back EP takes things to the next level with highly emotional acoustic variations. You can read my EP review here.
With a successful display of what the band is all about, Yonaka got ready for the next stage. New music never stops brewing with such acts, and it was a matter of time to see the level-up of their capabilities.
Seize The Power is the latest release that shows considerable improvement in conceptual presentation, lyrical construction, and musical arrangement. The mixtape captures the learned lessons and important reminders extracted after personal emotional turbulence. It also has the necessary input from the dedicated fanbase the band continuously keeps connecting and interacting with.
Yeah we’re an army now and you can’t take us downFrom Anthem
We’re the new gang in town
Seize The Power is an 8-track mixtape with impressive coherence in conceptual execution, sound, and themes. The collection of songs successfully delivers an empowering sense of self-worth, appreciation, and confidence presented by astonishing vocals, guest appearances, and instrumental construction.
The mixtape opens with Ordinary – one of the first singles from the highly anticipated new era. A slow start steadily leads to a powerful build-up and fascinating breakdown.
The song introduces the purpose of Seize The Power as a body of work. It defies the stereotypical, normal, and “comfortable”, urging listeners to give into to real, raw emotions even if it hurts and challenges them. Honesty, truth, and encouragement surround each line by promoting genuine self-acceptance and pride for one’s true self.
It also reassures listeners that every individual is unique and far from “ordinary”.
When you listen to this song, I want you to be completely honest with yourself and ask if this is where you are meant to be; are you being yourself, or are you scared? Are you living for someone else and forgetting yourself? Are you watching life go by like watching the t.v screen? Do you want to wake up old and wonder what you did with your life? This is your time to jump. Don’t let life pass you by. Make mistakes, cry, laugh, love. Do it for you. Shine in yourself and be happy to be anything but ordinary.Theresa Jarvis for Upset Magazine
The song asks important questions and feeds listeners quality food for thought. It is a strong reminder that we only have a limited time in life, and wasting it by being unhappy, following society “standards”, and being afraid to be who we want to be is unreasonable and self-destructive.
Detailed back-vocal screams add up to the emotional substance and seal the deal of shedding a few tears from pure joy and reassurance.
Tell me then, why is it you run
Back to someone you never loved?
Tell yourself that it’s comfortable
When you know that that’s not true
Oh the video…
Ordinary perfectly flows into the title track of the mixtape. Seize The Power is one of the strongest, most energetic, and inspirational tracks by Yonaka. It captures the essence of the mixtape’s theme by giving an influential push to be brave, honest, confident, and stay true to yourself.
Forget the past, it’s over, forget being the joker
Let ’em know that you’re home and you’re in control
Gather ’round, here’s how to get what you want
Introduce a new religion of feeling like a boss
You don’t need lessons, you do what you want it’s refreshing
As soon as you taste independence you start living life in the present
The song opens with a speech-like verse highlighting the ability to find the power within yourself. By the end of the track you can expect a renewed sense of power, strength, and confidence enhanced by the illustrative use of metaphors and reassuring lines delivered by Theresa Jarvis’ liberating vocals.
Get Out slows down the pace after the explosive eruption of energy and emotions. Despite the lower decibels, the song is equally powerful and features one of Yonaka’s most addictive choruses.
Get Out emphasizes strong self-identity and appreciation as necessary parts of life. It stands as a love-infused ballad Yonaka dedicates to their listeners with several touching remarks pulling heartstrings effectively.
Everybody thinks thats were insane
Just because we do not think the same
They wanna see us go our separate ways, no way
I am happy just to hear you breath
The only medicine I’ll ever need
And you don’t pour out fucking sympathy, no fakery
Excitement, thrill, and danger make appearances during the several verses supported by fitting instrumentals and energy. It is a bone-chilling track leaving you with a sense of empowerment and confidence.
Raise Your Glass presents a smooth transition. It has a slightly livelier sound and a triumphant vibe all around.
‘Cause it’s been hard and it’s been tough
But I guess that’s just called growing
The song is an anthem for growth and self-development. It deals with finding your strength and overcoming things that you thought would be the end of you. Powerful reminders not to give up on your fight and acknowledge your true potential shine bright mixed in with personal details of Theresa Jarvis’ own story and struggle.
I quit the drinking to help me feel
It’s gonna be a long road, but I’m at the wheel, yeah, yeah
Yeah, I know where I’m going this time for real
What follows after the intimate and delicate Raise Your Glass is an explosive change of pace. Clique features the rap-rock/trap-metal titans Fever 333 for an anger-filled exposition of toxicity.
The song calls for opposing manipulation and abuse with power and confidence. Acknowledging your worth and refusing to be a trophy living someone else’s life takes the spotlight in this banging powertrack.
I’m sick and tired always running from the fight
You think I lose?
Shame on you
I’ll cut you off before you know that you’re old news
Yonaka and Fever 333 encourage individuality, true feelings, and a sense of worth as means of breaking the chain of misery in the most powerful way possible.
Greedy is the perfect follow up. The vile and creepy atmosphere constructs the right headspace and give room to accurate emotions. The song continues the thread of toxicity and the need to liberate yourself from people who put you down and prevent you from living your life the way you want to.
You either treat me with respect or get out I disinfect
And I remove you from out my life
It slowly starts to make sense
The biggest takeaway from the song is the liberation and joy that come from defying those feelings and suppression. It is another powerful self-love anthem enhancing the message Yonaka send with the mixtape.
I grew up, I’m a big girl
Stopped giving time to people that make me hurt
Sometimes when I cry, it makes me better
Call Me A Saint supports the messages of Greedy in an uplifting, sound and lyric-wise manner. The song has intimate personal details but a relatable, inclusive atmosphere.
I was cold, I was lonely
No one thought to even phone me
Look at me now, I’m a fighter
I’m a strong bitch, baby, I’m designer
I’m tryna shine a light on, light on, light on
Anybody sitting in the dark and crying
Fix your make-up or your hair, pull up a seat over here
Gotta do what you do to get by, yeah
The song reintroduces the importance of mental wellbeing and leaves listeners with an after-taste of hope, strength, and confidence.
Anthem ends things with a few unavoidable tears. It represents an eruption of emotions and raw feelings presented in a toned down, almost acoustic nature.
The song is a deeper exploration of self-discovery, exposing the dangers of people-pleasing. It once again defies the need to fit it and promotes individuality, happiness, and contempt – being who you are and taking all the time necessary to find your purpose and understand yourself.
If I told you that you could be anything you wanted
Would you take those words and make it mean something?
Always we get pushed around and made to play with other clowns
That we wouldn’t even talk to in the street
I’m tryna find my own feet
Barns Courtney’s beautiful vocals complement Theresa Jarvis in an unexpectedly good way. The track also makes accurate references towards music as a medium to boost your confidence and find understanding and support.
Well I heard it on the radio
That we could be somebody now
And we could rule the world
And I seen it in the videos
People just like you and me are taking back control
Anthem is one of the most heartfelt Yonaka tracks making up for an extremely powerful end of the strongest conceptual mixtape we have seen in recent years. A few tears are a worthy price to pay for the provided experience.
There were a lot of expectations from one of the UK’s fastest-growing rock phenomena. Seize The Power did more than meet those expectations. It brought an incredibly powerful, highly necessary body of work we didn’t know we painfully craved.
The mixtape overflows with empowering remarks and inclusive energy, giving strength, hope, and contempt to anyone who feels insecure. It reminds us to keep our heads up and stay true to ourselves, it shows us the power within us and helps us seize it with a strong, unwavering grip.
Thank you, Yonaka.
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