The week before Yebba released her debut, she got one powerful boost from none other than Drake, who gave the Memphis singer an interlude on his Certified Lover Boy album, and named it after her to boot (“Yebba’s Heartbreak”). Her brief inclusion was a sample of her charms, but Dawn, which was lovingly produced by Mark Ronson, offers a more robust idea of one of her greatest strengths—her breathy, soulful voice, which she uses to bring emotional depth and texture to her lyrics.
A song like “October Sky” becomes a dazzling yet devastating ballad of grief honoring her mother. “Now I work in the city and I blend into the crowd/And the pеople grieve with mе since the towers came down,” she sings, filling the final syllables of each line with soul. “You could cut the pollution with a butter knife/You could wake up at two and then party all night/But I'm missin' my mama, so I stand on the street and get high.” It's poetry as is, but Yebba makes it magic. Such heart-wrenching tenderness is her sweet spot—see, for example, the mellow opener “How Many Years” and closer “Paranoia Purple”—but alongside a rapper like A$AP Rocky or against more throbbing, danceable beats like on “Love Came Down,” we are able to hear her voice in all of its soaring glory. Enchantment seems to come easy for Yebba, as she soothes and stuns all at once.