2021 has not been kind to us. There’s been all sorts of mayhem going on around the world however for me personally, there’s been a shining light at the end of the tunnel, in the form of the queen herself aka Abbey Smith aka Yebba.
After a couple years in relative, intentional obscurity, making herself available for only a pocket full of people willing to search, Yebba has so far graced us with not one, not two, not three, not even four but five incredible singles in the lead up to her album drop this month on the 10th. Literally this week.
I’d easily put Yebba up there with some of my favourite artists of all time. Top Ten easily. Without a doubt. She’s insane.
October Sky, Louis Bag, Boomerang and finally a Spotify version of My Mind were gifted to us this year and each one is incredibly beautiful in its own way.
I’ve already once touched on how beautiful and moving her song My Mind is and how her guttural and raw performance on Sofar’s YouTube channel regularly brings me to tears so I won’t repeat myself and waste your time. I mean it’s currently got over 18 million views so I’ll let you make your mind up for yourself HERE.
October Sky was the first single she released in the lead up to her first album, Dawn and it’s such a beautiful, quintessentially ‘Yebba’ song. Cathartic songwriting, insane runs and vocal control and this God-given talent of making you feel all sorts of emotions. I think it’s a combination of her tone, her writing style and the emotion she manages to convey through her recordings that really just hit you in the gut. She doesn’t have to be screaming or soaring on super high notes for you to feel what she wants you to feel.
October Sky has this beautiful guitar that lies in the background of the entire song, and it compliments her voice so well, especially in the first half of the song. I always find this song randomly popping into my head at the most random of times.
She also released a cover of The Past and Pending by The Shins which is just another notch on her belt, so haunting in this super simple and rustic way.
Louie Bag featuring Smino followed, released in July.
Here’s the thing. I wouldn’t say that Louie Bag is my favourite, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s not??? Does that make sense? I mean, you’ve got Yebba, that’s a given. But Smino?? Slowly becoming one of my favourite musicians too. It’s hauntingly rhythmic and her voice just floats amongst it all. Then Smino’s bridge comes in and it drives the message home super hard.
The chorus on this track is super catchy. Again, really rhythmic and percussive, though there’s only really a muted drum kit, some light strings and synth and a few added effects to fill in the space, however it just works. This song slaps. That’s all. Highly recommend. 10/10.
Boomerang is her latest release, coming towards the end of August. It’s gritty and raw and introduces this side of Yebba that I’m so excited to see more. There’s this super groovy bass line in there that just chugs along like a steady train and keeps the song really moving and her voice just dance all over this track. She doesn’t really try and show off too much in terms of vocals and trills and runs but she still manages to leave you in awe. I think it’s her delivery. There’s just so much intention and emotion in every line she sings. It’s so effortless.
Honourable mention just HAS to go to a track by Lucky Daye, How Much Can A Heart Take which our girl features on.
The way this song has me by the neck. Choke hold. Captive. I could play this song on repeat all day, everyday. I forced myself to learn new, super hard big-girl guitar chords specifically so I could play this song and sing along because at this point I’ve got this song running through my veins keeping me going. Lucky Daye has been one of my favourite artists this year. His album Table For Two is ridiculously good, popping with incredible features and beautifully written songs that get stuck in your head for hours. Obviously, for clear enough reasons, this song is my favourite on the entire track.
Ever since it was released, ever since they performed it live on Jimmy Kimmel, it’s run my entire life. But we’re here to talk about Yebba. About Abbey. Unless it’s somehow escaped you so far, girl can sing. This song is insane and credits to Lucky Daye but honest to God it’s her verse and chorus that completely make this song. At least for me. Make your own choices here.
Here’s hoping I don’t go AWOL again and I make it back in time to give y’all a full review of Yebba’s album Dawn when it releases on the 10th of September! Let’s see.