Malaysian indie-pop sing-songwriter Yuna hasn’t released a full-length album since 2013’s Nocturnal, but it was excellent. Her raw, barebones approach to songwriting communicates deep, visceral vulnerability through its simplicity and candidness. Both Nocturnal and her self-titled debut were full of subdued, but intense personal and romantic exploration.
Her forthcoming album, Chapters, is due out this spring, and she kicks it off with a departure recruiting OG producer DJ Premier for “Places To Go” via FADER. Her more R&B-leaning tracks have always been soulful without her fully forsaking her indie sensibilities, but Preemo’s beat and classic scratches bolster her voice to new heights. Her rawness and introspection are still present in lyrics that sound divine over the smooth horn sample and syncopated drums. When she simply asks no one in particular, “So I wanna know what’s the weather like in Toronto this time of the year? It should be so cold, but I need another place to go,” the frustration and anguish with her current situation comes across effortlessly.
Yuna has never quite ventured into the hip-hop realm before, but if the whole album was her doing her thing over beats from veterans like Preemo, then I’d be all for it. Listen.
Chapters is out 5/20 on FADER label. Pre-order is available here.