In December 2015, YOKKO returned in an unexpected way. Without any advance notice or a major PR campaign, the band released the song 'Circle' with its striking black and white video, taking discerning music fans by surprise and giving them a taste of YOKKO's upcoming new album. The song is a slow burner: gradually growing and building up a wall of sound, while at the same time raising the unavoidable question of human transience. When the drums kick in, the song really starts to lift off. Then comes a guitar solo underpinned by haunting vocals and, finally, a resounding, memorable ending.
This is YOKKO's way of opening the next chapter in their artistic career and sending out their first musical signal for two years. In short, this is no standard pop song; it's an acoustic statement.
In 2013, the band burst onto the music scene, entering the Top Ten in the Swiss Album Charts with their debut offering, Seven Seas. In 2014, YOKKO were named 'Best Talent' at the Swiss Music Awards. Since then, they have been delighting fans both at home and abroad with their impressive live performances at both open air festivals (the Gurten Festival, Openair St. Gallen, Zürich Openair, Openair Gampel, and many more) and club concerts in Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. The fact that they were nominated for an SMA in the category 'Best Live Act' last year as well as new expectations — both their own and those of others — drive the band to continue working on themselves and pushing forward towards a new goal. YOKKO set sail on an epic journey with their first album; now they are ready to fight!
In doing so, they are entering unchartered territory, while at the same time remaining true to their roots and ignoring short-lived trends. 'River', the first official single from the album, begins with the lightness you feel when you put the past behind you and set out on a new journey. It was one of the last songs written and recorded for the album. The recording was made by the band playing live together in just a few takes. It's an infectious, up-tempo number.
It's impossible to just have the 11 songs on this album playing in the background; this is music that demands the full attention of the listener. In today's stressful world, it is worth literally fighting for these precious minutes. And it really is worth the fight: this album is a call for all people to believe in themselves and to stand up and fight. Fighting for yourself also means fighting with yourself: reason and intuition are at odds with each other, and courageous decisions are needed if one of the two is to win through. Having an uncompromising faith in one's own feelings, overcoming resistance, and going your own way: it is this attitude to life that inspires the five musicians of YOKKO and drives them to work on their own sound.
While they produced their debut album, Seven Seas, themselves, this time, the band wanted to lift their Atlantic Wave into a new dimension and decided to record in the Vox-Ton Studio in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. Using the same mixing desk used by Queen for 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in 1975, recording equipment and old synthesizers, the result is a unique and mature sound.
With great attention to detail and uncompromising song-writing, the band has produced a timeless, analogue recording. Adi's unmistakeable voice, Dani's mystic synthesizer, Domenic's pumping drumbeats, Matt's powerful bass, and Phillipp's outstanding guitar combine to create a real work of art. They fought for every note, they lived every line, and fine-tuned every sound until they got exactly what they were looking for. They turned night into day and silence into a powerful wall of sound. In the course of this challenge, the musicians grew in terms of their musical abilities, their expression, and the desire to send out a message, namely that it is worth going your own way.