Yuna has been a constant presence on SoulBounce ever since we heard her single "Live Your Life" way back in 2012. Fast forward a decade and the Malaysian singer-songwriter is still bringing it to us with amazing songs and a sound that we just can't shake. She's also taking on a new endeavor, releasing her fifth full-length effort Y5 as five separate EPs. She's kicking off the effort with the release of the first of the series, titled Y1.
Since it serves as the introduction to this new era, the set appropriately begins with a short intro that is simply a countdown before we get to the beautiful and melodic "Hello." A simple composition of chords and Yuna's delicate vocal, the song feels like first waking up to the face of the one you love. Despite this, though, the lyrics seem to come from a lover who might be moving on. "And if I go just don't forget / The dream goes on, only for you to find me," she sings. "I'll live on in your morning coffee / Now when the bird sings, you know that's me."
"Pantone 17 13 30" gets a bit personal and political as the singer relishes in the beauty of her skin (the song's title references the exact shade of her complexion in the widely known color-matching system). While not a protest song, per se, Yuna's lyrics waft over the dreamy guitar riffs of the track as she makes sure that she and her beautiful skin tone are seen as something to be cherished, singing, "I was hoping you can see me, yeah / Pantone seventeen, ah, thirteen, thirty / When I'm in the sun and you tell me I'm the one / Pantone seventeen, yeah, thirteen, thirty / The color of my skin when you tell me that you love me."
Final track "Cigarette" is a song of encouragement in a time of seeming hopelessness. Yuna uses a combination of classic and modern soul elements to deliver her message to those who might be feeling a bit burned out. Though sometimes songs like it can feel contrived, her sincerity is felt when she sings, "Hеy, baby / Been doing this a long time, you showed the way how things are done / Changed a lot of minds just being true to being you."
Y1 is a mellow introduction to this new phase in the Yuna's career. The short-yet-brilliant set has us anticipating what the next four chapters will have in store. Steam the EP below and then stick around to watch the EP's "visual" experience below.