Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna’s upcoming album Chapters is quickly approaching. In the past she’s made some candid, vulnerable, minimal indie pop, but she’s leaned more toward traditional R&B and hip-hop on her singles “Crush” and “Places To Go,” recruiting assistance from vets from each respective genre in Usher and DJ Premiere.
Her latest offering is “Lanes,” and it finds her standing on her own two feet, sticking up for herself in the midst of mistreatment from her partner. She sounds wounded and exposed, singing, “If this is love, I don’t want it/ If this is love, you can keep it/ You call this love, and don’t respect it/ If this is love, why am I hurting?” Deep 808s, subtle trap drums, and bursting synth anchor her firm stance before a bright synth pattern lifts the mood and energy for the realization in the hook, “We’re on different lanes/Chasing different things.” Yuna has always had a special gift for translating mood and emotion, but as of late she’s displayed a confidence in her sound that makes her transmissions all the more potent. Listen.