Singer-songwriter sensation Yola returned on Friday with her hotly anticipated sophomore album, Stand For Myself. The second album from the British artist born Yolanda Quartey comes two years after her breakthrough debut, Walk Through Fire.
In her brief two years in the limelight, Yola has already found favor among the Americana/folk/country revivalist circles and is set to head out on tour in support of Chris Stapleton this summer. Yet it is on her latest studio offering that Yola confronts this newfound and immediate praise and boldly states that she intends to Stand For Myself.
The new album still hosts the intimately personal songwriting that made Yola an overnight sensation two years ago, while she also stays true to herself and incorporates more pop influences into her music.
With the album’s title track, Yola immediately proclaims her own majesty as she clearly states that she is making music for herself, and not for any “scene” that is looking to adopt her for the sake of diversity. On “Diamond Studded Shoes”, she unabashedly mixes in homages to ’90s female-centric R&B alongside her biting lyricism. Ironically, it’s with this stunning rebuke of conformity the she will become only further enamored by the singer-songwriter ruling class.
Stand For Myself isn’t all scorched Earth, however, as Yola shows with the disco-tinged anthem “Dancing Away My Tears” that still highlights the vulnerability that won the public’s heart on Walk Through Fire. Even as she explores pop elements of dance and R&B, Yola still holds close to her acoustic roots with songs like “Be My Friend” that show—even as the artist forges her unique path ahead—she is still holding onto her Roots.
“There are times you just need to cut and run, but sometimes you need only slowly waltz away waving a sorry goodbye wishing it could’ve gone another way. Either way, you’re out,” Yola said of the song “Dancing Away My Tears”.
Stream the new Yola album Stand For Myself via the player below or on your preferred streaming platform.
Yola – Stand For Myself
In celebration of Stand For Myself‘s release, Yola will air a performance of the full album taped during this year’s Newport Folk-On event. The stream will air across multiple time zones on August 4th and 5th. For tickets and more information click here.