YONAKA are a band who deserve to be cemented within pop culture, something that we will hopefully see as their careers’ progress…
It’s hard to believe that Brighton based YONAKA have only been around since 2014. Over the last few years they’ve been described as the “ones to watch” and with the release of their debut album Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow and a US tour, they’re quickly proving why.
After meeting in college, having originally been members of separate bands, they joined together, YONAKA was born and the group began recording and playing live shows.
Their first release came back in 2016 with track Ignorance, a song which they have re-recorded and kept for their debut album under new title Awake. It’s incredible to see a band progress so much within such a short space of time and it’s easiest to see when comparing these two versions. Side by side, the riffs sound richer, the bass deeper. The band’s production has evolved as they continue to refine their talent. Along with the elevated production, you can hear the increased confidence oozing from lead singer Theresa Jarvis’ vocals, which translates perfectly into the bands stunning and energetic live shows. But it’s not just musically we can spot these changes, they look almost unrecognisable from the band they started out as, sporting new hairstyles, fashion and generally establishing their ‘look’ as a band.
The hit that initially caught them a lot of attention was 2017’s Bubblegum, which appeared on their debut EP Heavy. It was around then I saw the band for the first time, supporting The Libertines at The Brighton Centre. This track, while brilliant, couldn’t be further from where they are now. Over the course of several EPs leading to the debut album release, YONAKA have established their unique sound and won over their critics.
Along with The Libertines, they’ve also supported the likes of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and recently toured with Bring Me The Horizon in support of their incredible album amo. They’ve also seemingly become pretty good friends with lead singer Oli Sykes if their Instagram posts are anything to go by!
While huge bands such as Royal Blood and Architects have spawned from Brighton, YONAKA are a band who offer something a little more accessible, without compromising on their sound or creativity. They’re a band who deserve to be cemented within pop culture, something that we will hopefully see as their careers’ progress.
Since The Libertines show, I’ve managed to catch them live 4 times and each time I’ve come away looking forward to the next. Most recently, I saw them play twice within a week, something I cannot recall ever doing for another band.
It’s not just the fans who are loyal to the group though, the loyalty to their fans is something that sets YONAKA apart from many, as they regularly post motivational messages and interact on a personal level, even buying them drinks at shows. I’ve attended two gigs now where drinks have been provided as a thank you to everyone who turned up, most recently at their Deezer session at The Prince Albert, which was also free to attend. Upon leaving the gig, each person was additionally handed a free signed poster.
As the band continues to progress and increase in popularity, there’s something that tells me they’re in it for the long haul and if debut album Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow is just the beginning of YONAKA, we’re in for one hell of a ride.
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