38 minutes and 54 seconds. That is the duration of Yebba’s debut studio album ‘Dawn’. But when the fifty fourth second of that phenomenal thirty-eight minutes arrives, the timeless legacy of its contents show no sign of ending. ‘Dawn’ was released earlier this month and the ethereal vocals it set free have continued to echo since. Yebba doesn’t just sing, her voice glides through the music with ardent passion. ‘Dawn’ is the product of years of curation, brimming with emotion and beautifully articulated lyrics.
The intricacies of ‘Dawn’ as an album represent the talent that Abbey Elizabeth Smith, or Yebba, possesses. The choices made both musically and stylistically are immaculate. What heightens this talent twofold is the raw emotionality underlying each of the albums 12 songs. This emotionality stems from the diverse feelings Abbey channelled into their production. Most notably, the emotions that surfaced after her mother, named Dawn, tragically took her own life. The melancholy, yet cathartic ‘Paranoia Purple’ draws the album to a close in moving memory of Dawn. The poignant, dual meaning of Yabba’s album also refers to the first appearance of light after a dark, “stormy winter” (‘Louie Bag ft. Smino’), converting it’s creation into a sense of hope.
Before even listening to ‘Dawn’ it boasts an optimistic array of talent – produced by Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winning producer Mark Ronson and featuring the likes of A$AP Rocky and Smnino. Yabba also recently landed herself on Drake’s ‘Certified Lover Boy’ with ‘Yebba’s Heartbreak’. With a history of viral hits online (including ‘Distance’ and ‘All I Ever Wanted’), accompanied by the commercial popularity of these names, it may seem that ‘Dawn’ pulls Yebba to the forefront of the here and now. But this would be a cruel misjudgement of her musical phenomenon, which holds clear ties to a more retro style. ‘Dawn’ is imbued with jazz, blues and strains of pop that are reminiscent of names like Amy Winehouse and Duffy.
The light that ‘Dawn’ has cast upon the music scene, has made Yabba visible. It is a light that will continue to thrive, revealing a promising future for the artist.
Words: Amelia Kelly
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