Monday 25 November 2013


Something a little bit special now. Yes, it's happened again. After the first ever premiere ever on YES/NO ever in the History of Time, another song surfaces like a new, mysterious island in a sea painted with beauteous calm. This time around it comes from Berlin two-piece, UMA. Comprised of couple-duo, Ella and Florian Zwietnig, they released a debut EP last year titled Drop Your Soul, a soothing yet menacing collection of electronic sounds, an electropop outing that sees the "pop" part of this wide genre twisted and subverted.

That characteristic of an essentially dark atmosphere carries through into this brrrand new single, 'Vanity'. Yep, it's brand new and it's out today. Arriving into your ears firstly with glittering, metallic feedback and a distorted beat made up of kicks and toms in a heart-thudding tribal-esque rhythm, we're quickly introduced into a world of mechanical iciness, a robotic aesthetic at work throughout. Plinking chords reverb in wintry succession as icicle-like synth leads glisten out of the shadowy sounds.

The vocals certainly help with the atmosphere, chanted out in an almost monotone series of rich harmonies soaring over the insectoid stutter of the hi-hats and thin snares. But it's at the beginning of the song's second half where its groove comes into place. The beat regularised now regularised and augmented with percussion, a saw-wave bassline underpins the gloomy chord progression with a pattern buzzing booms. Then, left with background noise and pretty guitar licks, the vocals return in a more understated way, crooning with a glass purity amongst the sleepily forboding sounds until the song ends.

It's an exercise in atmospheric electropop and minimalism, yet also in subtle dynamics that sees the track soaring in a wash of noises, bustling and expressing themselves alongside gloriously nonchalant vocals. Indeed, Ella - the voice of the duo - "grew up in the middle of nowhere, spending her early life studying classical music and singing in choirs" and it certainly shows in the arrangement of her vocals, and in the differing parts of the song, fitting mini-movements, mini-themes into this mini electronic symphony.

This is out TODAY as a co-release between Bad Panda Records and Seayou Records.

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