Mixtape review: YONAKA – Seize The Power

Brighton quartet YONAKA drop electrifying, far-reaching mixtape with a little help from Jason Aalon Butler...

Mixtape review: YONAKA – Seize The Power
Aliya Chaudhry

If YONAKA’s debut album Don’t Wait ’Til Tomorrow showed the band confidently arriving on the scene, their new mixtape Seize The Power is them exploding back onto it.

This the most exciting and diverse group of songs the band have ever put out, spanning moods from unapologetic anger to triumphant joy, exploring a greater range of influences than ever before, with electronic and hip-hop woven in throughout. While more straightforward songs like Raise Your Glass have the big choruses that YONAKA are known for, there are plenty of curveballs, from Ordinary’s electronic breakdown to Call Me A Saint’s hip-hop-infused middle eight to the orchestral parts on Anthem.

This is the band at their most experimental, but it’s nothing they can’t handle. Clique delves into nu-metal, with some help from FEVER 333’s Jason Aalon Butler, while Greedy is dark, electronic, and entirely unpredictable, with a strong hip-hop influence and a first verse that calls to mind Billie Eilish’s bad guy. Things close with Anthem, a cinematic piano ballad which feels shocking but earned after the high-energy songs that precede it, while indie singer-songwriter Barns Courtney’s voice provides a nice contrast to Theresa Jarvis’. Her unique and captivating vocals impressively navigate the quiet and delicate moments across the mixtape with as much skill as the louder, belt-along choruses. The rest of the band shine throughout from the crunching guitars on Clique to the thundering drums and catchy riffs that bolster Get Out’s pulsing dance-pop.

There’s no shortage of soaring hooks on this release, which captures the mixtape’s message of empowerment, but so does a band embracing their creativity and going wholeheartedly wherever that takes them. On earlier releases, YONAKA seemed to reach beyond the edges of their pop-rock sound and demonstrated a penchant for larger-than-life melodies. With Seize The Power, they've fully realised that early ambition and have blasted through the boundaries for good.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: VUKOVI, Wargasm, grandson

Sieze The Power is released on July 16 via Believe UK.

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