The opening 30 seconds of ‘Vigilant‘ has me waiting for the explosion of a techno-flavoured dancefloor banger. But prepare to be surprised as Yanna A throws listeners off guard and veers into a haunting vocal breakdown ahead of expansive instrumentation flowing to the forefront. Before we even have a chance to appraise what we’re listening to, the outro kicks in, hastily covering its tracks and driving off in a completely different direction.
Inspired by Grimes, FKA Twigs, Eartheater and Little Simz, ‘Vigilant’ has a contemporary electro feel and clocks in at under two and a half minutes. Perfect music for those whose attention is easily diverted and want something fresh constantly assaulting their senses, as it really does feel like three songs rolled into one.
Speaking of the double A-side single, Yanna says, “The concept of ‘Vigilant’ was initially about general anxiety, as well as the comedown of it on ‘Lift Me Up’. But looking back now, I think this was a real expression of how I was feeling during the COVID pandemic, as all my flatmates had gone back home and I was basically stuck in a house alone for five months… People actually ran away from me in supermarket aisles and on park pathways! It got bad and I was on beta blockers for panic attacks. London was truly a ghost town.”
Flipside, ‘Lift Me Up‘, is classic Yanna A, with a nod to Smashing Pumpkins and Kristin Hersh. Vulnerable lyrics sing tenderly of recovering from sorrow and the journey of coming out the other side, having reached acceptance and grown from the experience. All of this is set to a beautiful acoustic guitar backdrop which builds with elevating vocal harmonies into searing reverb and gunshot beats.
A gloriously uplifting song indeed and the perfect tonic for life’s woes. Yanna says, “The song really just breathed from me without much thought! I think, after so much of that anxiety, I was really looking for solace and peace in my spirituality. I believe in nature as my higher power and I tend to follow the natural cycles, so this song was a response to that. After all the chaos and fear comes calm and clarity, always. We, as living beings, are in cycles and learning to trust those cycles and processes are important to me“.