Glasgow based artist Yana emerged with her debut album Fleeting State this year to relatively little fan-fare, but what’s hidden here is a dark yet optimistic gem of a record, that sees a girl laying her story bare for everyone to hear.
Fleeting State is cited as thematic storytelling record and that’s blatantly obvious just from looking at the track titles here as we go on a journey through ‘Isolation’ to ‘You Will Grow’ to ‘Make It’ as the optimism of the record grows through dreamy melodies and unnerving backdrops.
‘In The Night’ carries the record off in a trance inducing fashion; Yana talks of “tortured memories” while piano flourishes twinkle away hinting at hope around the corner. ‘Isolation’ continues that same unsettling dreamlike feel, before the album takes a more optimistic, forward thinking turn as ‘From Within’ hints at a brighter outlook both musically and lyrically (“worry not what they do, focus on you”). ‘Make It’ culmonises the record talking of avoiding the traps your mind can lay for you, even hints of a drop suggest that there’s still hesitation in her mindset, but as Yana closes the record with a chanted a mantra of “you gotta make it” you’re still questioning where her next step is.
Yana talks of being fascinated with music from an early age, engulfing herself in what may seem to be a lifelong ambition, which has eventually become a reality aged 30; we can only assume that familiar story of life getting in the way of following your dreams. Fleeting State feels like it has needed that time to breathe, it’s heavily personal, you can tell that just by the emotional infelections on her vocals at times, but that makes the record all the more relatable.
Fleeting State is not the easiest of listens, yes there’s hints of bright pop sensibilities at points, but for all the moments of beauty and intrigue, it’s harsh and unnerving as if the anxiety and frustration of the time taken to make the record seeps through to its very pores. It’s a true and honest record and is well worth a listen.
Words: Iain Dawson