11 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“What’s your mantra? What’s your look? Do you have a manifesto? What are you trying to say?” Yonaka frontwoman Theresa Jarvis is running Apple Music through the questions a fledgling (and hotly tipped) band faces. After emerging in 2016 with a glorious racket built on bulletproof riffs and Jarvis' skyscraping vocals, the Brighton four-piece took some time to figure out the big stuff. Spin on three years and we have answers. “We want the music to help people stick up for themselves,” she says. “Life can be suffocating. I’d like people to feel inspired to ask for help if they need it, and then f**king go and get what you want. The album title has a bit of a double meaning in that way.” Here, Jarvis offers up a track-by-track guide to her band’s self-produced debut album.

“Bad Company”
“Quick fact: The track listing here is not actually the one we wanted. We were asked to send it through, then gave it an hour and listened to it again before moving it all around. But we were told it was too late as it had gone to printing! So, this is the original sequence. ‘Bad Company’ was first in both versions, though. It’s a very precious song. We open live sets with it now, and it creates a good vibe where you feel like there’s urgency there—but there’s also a release, too.”

“Lose Our Heads”
“I had been a bit on the fence about this song, while everyone else was telling me what a big tune it was. But now it’s one of my favorites. It’s about how this generation live their lives through social media rather than actually experiencing real life. People should be going out falling in love, getting into fights, and having their hearts broken. I’m guilty of it, too. I’m forever living through other people’s lives on Instagram.”

“Awake”
“This one used to be called ‘Ignorance’ and is the second song we ever wrote. We revamped it with new production and it just sounds so fresh now. It’s very cool to have one of the first things we ever wrote together on our debut album. Nothing else from the earliest days felt quite right, but this one still stays with us.”

“Guilty (For Your Love)”
“We’ve started doing this song acoustically live, as our set is very in-your-face the whole time. It’s nice to be able to show off a different side to us for three minutes. I’m so proud of us for writing a song this gorgeous.”

“Rockstar”
“So much fun to play live. It’s proper euphoric—and it’s ambitious. It conjures these old-school David Bowie otherworldly rock-star dreams for me. We had a little bit of trouble with the song, actually. I had the pre-chorus, which felt very cool, but then we couldn’t work out if I was going to sing across the chorus. We finally settled on the ‘Wo-op’ you hear now, which was quite hard for me because I’m usually constantly singing on our songs. I’m greedy. I always want to be singing.”

“Creature”
“This is about love, but in the way you don’t hear about love. When you’re younger, you only ever get told about the romance, the fairy tales, the holding hands. But that’s not it. Love is the part where you stay with someone when they’re in their lowest moments and all their demons are out. And that person stays with you and still loves you.”

“Don’t Wait ’Til Tomorrow”
“My favorite song on the album. It best distills the message we’re trying to get out there. When I was going through rough times with anxiety, I found it really helpful knowing someone else was going through the same thing. That might sound quite selfish, but it brought me comfort as I suddenly realized I wasn’t going to shrivel up and die right here on my own because I’m the only one who’s ever felt like this. I just think it’s important for people to know they’re not alone, and you should always speak up at any time. Get it off your chest. Reach out to someone.”

“Punch Bag”
“This song is all thanks to my brother’s terrible ex-girlfriend. I was on the phone to him whilst trying to write lyrics, and he was going out with this girl who was horrible—really manipulative. I was telling him sisterly things about how he deserved better and that he was being used as her punch bag. I quickly got off the phone and it came tumbling out. Thank you, next, as Ariana would say.”

“Fired Up”
“The fans seem to really love this song. It was an easy one to write, but very hard to record. I developed a very bad habit of writing really high songs for myself and then telling myself I can’t do it. But I do get it. Eventually.”

“Wake Up”
“This is basically a mash-up of all the various things that happen in my dreams. The boys in the band are utterly fed up of me insisting I recount all the crazy things I dream about. I’ve murdered so many different people in my sleep. I get very upset and think I’m going to jail and that I’ve ruined the band. You have no idea how relieved I am when I wake up. I also dream a lot about being best mates with gorillas, so God knows, to be honest.”

“The Cure”
“The middle eight is literally me having a panic attack, but in lyrics. It was the last song we wrote for the album, and it fits perfectly as the closer. Everyone’s always looking for a cure for something, aren’t they? For me, it was trying to be free of anxiety. Despite the subject matter, I feel like it’s an easy one to listen to. Our songs aren’t always ones you’d put on at any time—they’re probably ones you’d listen to to get a bit raged, or revved up. Whereas I think this is one that you can listen to in the car, calmly. It felt like a nice sound to round off the album with.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“What’s your mantra? What’s your look? Do you have a manifesto? What are you trying to say?” Yonaka frontwoman Theresa Jarvis is running Apple Music through the questions a fledgling (and hotly tipped) band faces. After emerging in 2016 with a glorious racket built on bulletproof riffs and Jarvis' skyscraping vocals, the Brighton four-piece took some time to figure out the big stuff. Spin on three years and we have answers. “We want the music to help people stick up for themselves,” she says. “Life can be suffocating. I’d like people to feel inspired to ask for help if they need it, and then f**king go and get what you want. The album title has a bit of a double meaning in that way.” Here, Jarvis offers up a track-by-track guide to her band’s self-produced debut album.

“Bad Company”
“Quick fact: The track listing here is not actually the one we wanted. We were asked to send it through, then gave it an hour and listened to it again before moving it all around. But we were told it was too late as it had gone to printing! So, this is the original sequence. ‘Bad Company’ was first in both versions, though. It’s a very precious song. We open live sets with it now, and it creates a good vibe where you feel like there’s urgency there—but there’s also a release, too.”

“Lose Our Heads”
“I had been a bit on the fence about this song, while everyone else was telling me what a big tune it was. But now it’s one of my favorites. It’s about how this generation live their lives through social media rather than actually experiencing real life. People should be going out falling in love, getting into fights, and having their hearts broken. I’m guilty of it, too. I’m forever living through other people’s lives on Instagram.”

“Awake”
“This one used to be called ‘Ignorance’ and is the second song we ever wrote. We revamped it with new production and it just sounds so fresh now. It’s very cool to have one of the first things we ever wrote together on our debut album. Nothing else from the earliest days felt quite right, but this one still stays with us.”

“Guilty (For Your Love)”
“We’ve started doing this song acoustically live, as our set is very in-your-face the whole time. It’s nice to be able to show off a different side to us for three minutes. I’m so proud of us for writing a song this gorgeous.”

“Rockstar”
“So much fun to play live. It’s proper euphoric—and it’s ambitious. It conjures these old-school David Bowie otherworldly rock-star dreams for me. We had a little bit of trouble with the song, actually. I had the pre-chorus, which felt very cool, but then we couldn’t work out if I was going to sing across the chorus. We finally settled on the ‘Wo-op’ you hear now, which was quite hard for me because I’m usually constantly singing on our songs. I’m greedy. I always want to be singing.”

“Creature”
“This is about love, but in the way you don’t hear about love. When you’re younger, you only ever get told about the romance, the fairy tales, the holding hands. But that’s not it. Love is the part where you stay with someone when they’re in their lowest moments and all their demons are out. And that person stays with you and still loves you.”

“Don’t Wait ’Til Tomorrow”
“My favorite song on the album. It best distills the message we’re trying to get out there. When I was going through rough times with anxiety, I found it really helpful knowing someone else was going through the same thing. That might sound quite selfish, but it brought me comfort as I suddenly realized I wasn’t going to shrivel up and die right here on my own because I’m the only one who’s ever felt like this. I just think it’s important for people to know they’re not alone, and you should always speak up at any time. Get it off your chest. Reach out to someone.”

“Punch Bag”
“This song is all thanks to my brother’s terrible ex-girlfriend. I was on the phone to him whilst trying to write lyrics, and he was going out with this girl who was horrible—really manipulative. I was telling him sisterly things about how he deserved better and that he was being used as her punch bag. I quickly got off the phone and it came tumbling out. Thank you, next, as Ariana would say.”

“Fired Up”
“The fans seem to really love this song. It was an easy one to write, but very hard to record. I developed a very bad habit of writing really high songs for myself and then telling myself I can’t do it. But I do get it. Eventually.”

“Wake Up”
“This is basically a mash-up of all the various things that happen in my dreams. The boys in the band are utterly fed up of me insisting I recount all the crazy things I dream about. I’ve murdered so many different people in my sleep. I get very upset and think I’m going to jail and that I’ve ruined the band. You have no idea how relieved I am when I wake up. I also dream a lot about being best mates with gorillas, so God knows, to be honest.”

“The Cure”
“The middle eight is literally me having a panic attack, but in lyrics. It was the last song we wrote for the album, and it fits perfectly as the closer. Everyone’s always looking for a cure for something, aren’t they? For me, it was trying to be free of anxiety. Despite the subject matter, I feel like it’s an easy one to listen to. Our songs aren’t always ones you’d put on at any time—they’re probably ones you’d listen to to get a bit raged, or revved up. Whereas I think this is one that you can listen to in the car, calmly. It felt like a nice sound to round off the album with.”

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