On the 16th of March one of the UK’s brightest (or darkest?) new alt-pop bands will be performing a sold-out show at The Bodega Social Club in Nottingham. Yonaka only formed in 2015 but have already released several EPs and are selling out stages across the UK, not to mention having supported the legendary Bring Me The Horizon on their European ‘MANTRA’ tour.
Running full speed alongside their rocketing success, 2019 promises big things for Yonaka, with their debut full length album ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ to be released in May and multiple festival performances lined up for the summer.
Through lead singer Theresa Jarvis’ powerful vocals combined with heavy guitar riffs and elemental hip-hop rhythms, the band presents a glorious mix of head-banging rock and melodic pop, with a grunge edge that echoes the age-old defiant attitude of many British artists. Their stage presence has also been a large contributor to their rapid success, with a furious energy and punk elegance similar to the likes of Royal Blood and Blur. In combination, these features blend together to create a truly unique genre-bending phenomenon that has taken the modern rock scene by storm.
The band’s sound has refined dramatically from their early releases to now. Theresa describes the progression from their first EP ‘Heavy’ to their second ‘Teach Me To Fight’ as the point when the band found their feet and defined what they wanted to portray through their music. In true rock and roll fashion, the latter EP stepped up to tackle our narcissistic modern “poser” culture, advocating standing up for yourself and what you believe in. In their subsequent releases, Yonaka also uses their music to raise awareness of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. This theme is reflected in tracks such as “Creature” and “Own Worst Enemy”, as well as throughout the ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ discography. The album title itself is based on knowing it’s ok not to be ok, and not hesitating to reach out to someone you think may be battling with their inner demons.
So, if you’re into dark indie pop and haven’t already come across Yonaka, I would 100% recommend giving them a listen and getting your tickets to gigs at small and intimate venues like The Bodega whilst you can. I also hope that their passionate voice on life and love, including its struggles and triumphs, resonates with and inspires you as much as it has done for me.
Photo credit: Ines Ziouane