25 February 2024

Yama Uba – Silhouettes

Written by: Helena Cedrwydd
Release date:  24-01-2024
Label: Psychic Eye Records

The Yama Uba band name was unfamiliar to me before, to be honest. Which, I must admit, I regretted a lot when I started listening to their debut album Silhouettes.

From the very first minute, the music transforms the listener into a time traveler and drives them into the atmosphere of underground gothic clubs of the 80s, where the ultraviolet, strobe lights and the fog of a smoke screen blur the lines between dream and reality, and bizarre silhouettes move in an enchanted dance.

Whimsical musical patterns, imposed on a typical death rock pulsating and hypnotic beat, evoke associations with Bauhaus, while cold and ethereal vocals often make one think of either the young Monica Richards or the magnificent Peter Murphy. To be mentioned the saxophone melodies as well, which add special noir expressiveness and sinister touch to the dark-wave atmosphere of the album.

As you listen to Silhouettes, a wide, kaleidoscope-like variety of names comes to your mind, from Christian Death and The Sisters Of Mercy, to the previously mentioned Bauhaus and Faith And The Muse, with, sometimes, an elusive reminiscent of Cocteau Twins mood.

The album is a distinctive captivating piece that took the best from the influences of the bands’ haunting atmosphere and added to it personal passion and emotion, which is woven into the lyrics of each of the songs. Silhouettes is all about intoxicating romance, desires and sometimes grief. It’s a bittersweet mixture of dark and delicious poetry and soul-piercing yet charming melodies.
My personal pick is Shapes, the track which I consider the most iconic and intriguing, with dramatically fragile vocals and ominous yet elegant melodies, entwined with melancholic poetry, which pays homage to the old school goth classics.

I’ve been listening to it non-stop. Don’t think I’ve been this impressed with an entire album in… who knows how long. Will I buy it? Definitely I will. A perfect gem to discover.

Line up:

  • Akiko Sampson
  • Winter Zora

Tracklist

  1. Disappear
  2. Shapes
  3. Shatter
  4. Facade
  5. I’m in Love With a German Film Star
  6. Isolation
  7. Laura
  8. Claustrophobia
  9. Angel

Links:

Bandcamp