Songbird on the rise, Yuna Zarai, is ready to spread her wings on her sophomore album offering of Nocturnal. Picking up where she left off with her self-titled debut and Sixth Street EP, Yuna presents a body of work with lush vocal harmonies and honest songwriting which she is becoming to be known for. The album’s eleven tracks (fourteen on the deluxe edition) feature production in the likes of Chad Hugo of the Neptunes (“Someone Who Can”) and Robin Hannibal of Quadron (“Falling”), but the key here is that the sound across the board is uniquely Yuna, blending soul, R&B, folk, electronic, and native Malaysian sounds for a diverse genre of pop.
Seldom do we find a cohesive body of work both sonically and content-wise from such a young artist, and Yuna does this, fearless in expressing emotions that as a generation, we often suppress.
There are many songs that tell stories of love and love lost, but not in a place of malice or ill-intent. A perfect instance of such is the song “Someone Who Can”. She sings “you didn’t really play your part well, I’ll find someone who can,” expressing her disappointment for a former love in a forward-thinking light. There are tales of being in a space of growth, but needing a bit of downtime to fully manifest it all (“Escape”), and an honest take on the human side of fame and being in the spotlight (“Lights and Camera”).
The simplest way to describe “Nocturnal” in one word is refreshing. It is refreshing to hear music and lyrics that are honest and eye-opening at the same time, in a realm (pop music) where we so often speak down to certain groups of people on a record. Aside from the aforementioned songs, key tracks include “I Want You Back,” and “Rescue.” The album in entirety is completely listenable from front to back, and above all, relatable, for listeners of all ages.
Stay tuned for our exclusive sit-down interview with the talented songbird!