With a gentle nod to the transcendent melancholy of Radiohead, the Geordie native has confronted the delicate notion of anxiety in her placid and chilling sophomore release of 2021.
To miss someone or something is a trivial emotion. Inanimate or tangible, the sentiment is real and often tender.
Like the hollow gap between a misty window and the face of its yearning on-looker, YVA has produced a pained and brooding slice of ambient-folk; reverting back to a timbre that tugs at the coattails of her acoustic-driven roots. With an arrangement akin to an intricate work of renaissance art, the vocals are painted with a brittle lacquer of contemplation, smudged daintily against the pastel warmth of ancillary pockets of glistening foley.
Framed within a gilded cocoon of vulnerability, the fluted vocals take on a capriscion that effortlessly glide across a phonary scale wider than the poles asunder. The fluctuating tension and release of its brittle cadence embody the fragility of its inception, symbolizing the complex and serpentine nature of the human psyche. It’s poignancy excels in portraying a heart-rendering narrative from an artist who is striving to rebuild herself, making for a cordially cathartic experience that aims to find solace within itself.
“Missing Me came to me while I was watching the TV, feeling like shit. A symptom of when I’m feeling really anxious and low is not feeling anything at all, other than crushing inadequacy and negativity, and logical truth doesn’t really come into play at all. The whole song is a metaphor for not healing yourself, of being afraid of missing the symptoms when you’re in a bad place. “I’m scared one day I’ll never know.” When I listen to it now, I think of every time I’m on my phone or watching the telly and saying something awful to myself because I wished I was that someone or something better than who I actually am: talented, flawed, content, perfectly ordinary. Saying “I wish” all the time just means you’re never content with who you are. I don’t want to miss me and all the amazing things in my life in the process of searching for perfection.”
As Da Vinci once said, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”, a saying perfectly summarised by the clarity and poise of this glistening ballad; I think some people forget that being simple isn’t banal, it’s elegant. It represents the notion that, as flawed beings, to struggle through and work against our limitations is one of our most visceral and sincere traits.
The gradual incline from reticently cavernous ambience to the explosive and thunderous drum break mirrors the convolution of worry; the building up of emotions until we concede our ability to contain them. There is beauty to be found in these imperfections however, and YVA has administered a virtuous dose of candour that coils itself around the lingering sense of negativity.
The resilience embedded within this record exudes an impression of hope, falling across the mix like the opening flood of raindrops that coat the scenery with an atmospheric grace. If there is one thing we can take from this rhetoric, it’s that sometimes we must break in order to fully rebuild.