Coming in at number 6 on our ‘Albums of the Year’ list, Yonaka have absolutely smashed it with their debut album, Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow.
The album begins with arguably one of its best hits, ‘Bad Company’. This catchy song makes an unbeatable energy when seeing them live, as lead singer Teresa belts “Mother, can you help me? / I’ve been locked up, can’t escape it / Have I done wrong? Am I guilty? / Why do I feel like I’m suffocating?” Though very dark, these lyrics are disguised by an eerie intro, lots of “oh-oh-oh-oh”s and indie rock throughout; a meaningful yet funky combo common throughout the album.
‘Lose Our Heads’ is a particularly emotional song on the album. Although the song appears to be a message about how our generation has forgotten how to live, too “cooped up at home” that we “forgot how to live our lives”, the chorus and pain in Theresa’s voice could easily make this song a break-up anthem. Begging “Teach me how to love / I’m asking you to break my heart in half”. ‘Guilty (For Your Love)’ is another romance-inspired song, singing about obsession, overcoming past hurt through a new love, and the fear of being alone again. Lyrics “I had monsters in my bedroom ’til you came along”, “I would do anything for you / I am guilty”, “I drank half my mind away, didn’t know what was real” and “I’ll never let you go” perfectly express these emotions, highlighting how ‘Guilty…’ will get your tears flowing.
One of the funkiest songs is ‘Awake’, frequently switching from groovy guitar/drums to a heavy chorus, up to a very Paramore-esque bridge as lyrics become somewhat shouty (in the best way possible). This is definitely the head-banger of the album. ‘Creature’ is another great anthem from Yonaka’s debut album. Somewhat gentler than ‘Awake’, ‘Creature’ becomes the body-moving song that’ll get you dancing. It keeps to Yonaka’s various styles of rock, and is certainly high energy; it’s chorus “I’ll be anything you like, make a true believer / But I won’t ever leave ya / I lose control of my mind, something they don’t teach ya / And I become a creature” simple yet effective. ‘Fired Up’ is another song that’ll get you grooving, with Theresa taking on a rap-ish vibe at points.
‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ appropriately takes the albums title, begging people to reach out for help when they need it. Beginning with “if you’re lonely you can call me, don’t you know?”, and it’s chorus reiterating the message that “It could never be too late / To call me up and come my way / I would love to see your face / Don’t wait ’til tomorrow”. ‘Wake Up’ is another amazing song of the album. Taking a far more chilled approach musically, the song continues the themes above of mental health, with lyrics “stuff gets tough, gets rough when I’m asleep / but remember, it’s just a bad dream” – this song is an ultimate bop.
Yonaka’s Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow is an album that everyone should listen to at least once in their lives. It’ll get you dancing, crying, checking up on your friends/family, and appreciating the sheer talent of this Brighton-based band. Self-claimed ‘dark alt rock’, Yonaka are extremely deserving of our top-10 list, and with Theresa as their charismatic lead-vocalist, they could just be the next Paramore.
Yonaka’s Don’t Wait Til Tomorrow is out now via Asylum Records.