Yakima certainly offer something fresh musically. They’re intriguing, luring you in right from the first note, and their debut EP, Go Virtually, is out on April 3 via Moshi Moshi Records. The title comes from from Japan’s “cry rooms”, where people go to weep in order to relieve stress.
‘It Helped’ starts the record. It’s a wonderful track, channelling triumph over addiction despite the helplessness involved. There are hazy vibrations in the production, adding to the exploration of angst and creating an atmosphere that will open the listener’s mind.
Next up is ‘Judy’s Lament’, featuring an incredible guitar hook, and banging drums, colliding wonderfully with the lyrics and melodies. Insomnia plays a big part in the lyrics, which draw from dream-like emotions.
Following this, ‘Thanks’ has a falsetto harmony over the fuzzy instrumental, with a darker sound and accompanying piano. As Yakima try to settle a heavy state of affairs, they sing:
“Everybody wants their own disease / When I know I’m wrong it’s hard to make amends.”
The melodies on ‘I’m Happy (In No Way)’ are perfect, and the self-deprecating lyrical sensibility conjures indie bands like The Pastels. Then, with ‘Real Time’, there’s a shift in the EP’s sound. Pop chords blend wonderfully with harmonious vocals, adding some extra flavour. The end of the song is chaotic and improvised, but it really pays off. Finally, closing out the EP, ‘Sheep Boy, Cry Man’, tingles with sadness, marking an emotional conclusion to Go Virtually.
There is certainly a lingering taste of ’90s Britpop influence here, with dreamy tracks covering different themes that weave together throughout. The vocal harmonies are a real highlight, and can be traced back to the likes of Elliott Smith, The Beach Boys, and Camper Van Beethoven. It’s clear that Yakima’s inspirations played a big part in helping to find their signature sound.
Each track has an earworm melody that will draw the listener in right from the beginning of the EP. It’s an incredible release from Yakima, and a great collection of songs to zone out to.
Yakima have been unraveling their signature sound in the run up to this debut EP. Their music is a vessel, drawing from observations of reality, and imagination, to create an epic six-track collection. The entire EP showcases their musical talents and admiration for melodic expression. Above all, this EP is the result of Yakima looking inward and examining their sense of self-worth.