Yonaka are a new band hailing from Brighton, who refer to themselves as 'dark pop'. Their sound, as displayed on their 'Ignorance' single, consists of fuzzy riffs, firm rhythm as well as Theresa Jarvis's vocals that are soulful and confident but also very primal due to occasional barks. Overall it's like the worlds of peculiar pop music and dirty rock have come together. Tonight they hit The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds to play a free show where those present can count themselves incredibly lucky to have witnessed show that turned out to be visceral, energetic and one to remember.
Before Yonaka blow minds though, Wire People impress with their synth injected indie. They're danceable and firm. There's something of a Radiohead, 'In Rainbows' era, to them, the way both the guitar and vocals are loose and just breeze along.
Yonaka hit the stage and are like an explosion on repeat. From the start Jarvis is displaying Iggy Pop-like moves, ferociously prancing across the stage, jolting her arms and legs as well as aggressively pacing around the stage, like she's marking it as her territory. Guitarist George Edwards is constantly stomping around and swinging his guitar in good mentalist fashion whilst pumping out the punchy riffs.
It's always riveting to see a band play with such passion and adrenaline, especially when there's not a ton of people present therefore not necessarily an obligation to please a bunch of people, but Yonaka give it their all regardless of how big the crowd is. If you were just here not having heard of Yonaka, but just because it was a free show, you'd be forgiven for seeing Wire People, then expecting something along the same lines, something calm. If that was the case, then Yonaka felt like a sucker punch and if you were fully aware of their reputation, this would still be an exhilarating experience.
As for Yonaka's sound, that in itself is also a force to be reckoned with. There's a tribal aspect to it the way Jarvis's vocals are can get so savage at times as well as how she has her own drum to occasionally hit at, but there's of course some punk grit in the riffs and how most of the time Jarvis is just an on-point vocalist. In both the sound and the performance Jarvis brings a lot of sass to the table in the way she doesn't seem to take any sh*t in both her singing and her stage presence. She's got a star quality to her, but an eccentric star like Bjork or Grimes, and if you picture someone like that in a thrashy guitar band, that's more or less Yonaka for you.
Watching Yonaka play live, you genuinely get the impression that they could be one of the next big things in music. With their energy they ignite the kind of the excitement that stays with you for a while and their sound is one that's fresh and difficult to pigeonhole and both of those things go a long way when it comes to a band being something truly special. It wouldn't be a surprise if Yonaka explode in the not too distant future. These are the kind of shows that make people persuade their friends to go see the band next time they're in town and you can be sure that the amount of people seeing Yonaka is only going to increase, but no matter how big or small they end up being, they're not a band you're not going to want to miss out on.
Yonaka on Facebook -
Take a look back at October's inaugural event.
The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.