As I write this, I’m sitting by the window in a tiny coffee shop, with my eyes darting back and forth from my laptop to the giant trees swaying back and forth in the wind outside. Soon enough I’m focused exclusively on the trees, also taking note when the sun disappears for a split second and bathes the interior of the shop in blue tinted shadow, only to go back to piercing light once again. The heat in Austin has been incredibly stifling these days, but the fact that we have the chance for even a little bit of wind or the tiniest probability for shade is enough to brave going outside. Maybe it’s because I’m listening to it at the same time, but I can’t help but equate the soothing nature of Yifan Wu’s newest track to the same breeze in spite of our perpetual summer, a much needed breath of simple, yet equally refreshing indie soul to brazenly cut through the heat. The production, done by Wu as well as writing and recording, is bright, clean, and crisp, subtly overlaying a wobbly, slinky pop melody over classic jazz-inspired chord progressions. The instrumentals sound patient and tender to match the narrative, which expresses the facets of a personal subject for the Toronto based musician:
“The song is essentially about one of the struggles of being in a long-distance relationship – being unable to connect to the person that you love. You can try your best to text and call and visit each other, but sometimes there are just periods in time when life gets busy and the connection is lost for even a split second. The lyrics describe that feeling of yearning and needing to be to reconnected.”
Wu, in flawless falsetto, shyly explains that “I know that you’ve told me this before/ I just need to be sure,” later admitting that “the silence is eating up my soul” before unleashing a barrage of gorgeous, meticulous vocal runs, adding to the potent soulfulness introduced at the beginning. Though it originally came from a place of frustration – as Wu explained – he instead chooses to be whimsical and charming, to the point where you can nearly hear the sly smirk on his face as he sings, almost as if he knows how it will all turn out. Most of all, however, he manages to convey an addictive sense of hope, putting equal faith in both himself as well as the one he loves.
photo courtesy of artist