Feature: YVA – A Look Back At 2021 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo by Katie Silvester

So, how was your 2021?
My 2021 was a bit mental. I released my first EP, got pregnant, moved back to Newcastle, bought a house, and had a baby. For some reason though I don’t feel like that’s enough to squeeze in one year. Maybe I should have got a dog, too.

What was your best moment?
I want to say getting my first real body of work out there, but honestly it was having my daughter land on my chest and watching her take in the world these last few weeks. Everything else just seems superfluous.

And your worst moment?
Thinking the expression was “damp squid,” not “damp squib,” and then fighting ruthlessly for it to be changed because quite frankly “damp squib” makes no sense at all to me.

Who was your favourite band/artist this year?
I haven’t been able to get enough of Chartreuse this year. Discovered them back in January and had them on repeat ever since.

Your favourite song of the year?
Only You by Chartreuse. Not just a beautiful song but incredibly composed and arranged. I think it’s rare to get that kind of quality these days; a real sense of musicality against quite a simple lyricism.

Recommended album?
I loved Anna B Savage’s debut album A Common Turn. It’s an incredible piece of work and very raw. Also Charlotte OC’s Here Comes Trouble. Masterclass in how to write a very, very good pop album with integrity and strong bones.

Favourite TV show of the year?
I’ve been loving Arcane on Netflix, it’s an animation adapted from a game and the cinematography, dialogue and characterisation is superb. I also love Marvel but my favourite of their offerings this year has been Wanda Vision. Mare of Eastown was great too!

Your favourite film?
Parasite. I know that didn’t come out this year but I only got round to watching it in 2021 and it was fucking amazing.

Best book you read?
I can’t name just one. Book of M by Peng Shepherd was surreal but amazing. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell was disturbing and shed light on a narrative that is often ignored, and Nobody Told Me by Hollie McNish helped prepare me for motherhood. Although nothing can really do that.

Best podcast?
Julia Belle’s Bare Naked Politics. Give it a listen if you feel out of your depth when politics comes up in the conversation; she covers all the current topics while explaining how the government works in a way we can all understand.

Favourite venue of the year?
To be honest I’ve barely left the house for most of 2021, but I did sing in Westminster Abbey with Nitin Sawhney; that was pretty cool.

What was your favourite gig/show of the year?
Westminster Abbey!

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2022?
Vandebilt! Sometimes all you want is a bit of french/disco/electro in your ears. They’ve got an album dropping in 2022 which should be mega.

And finally, what has next year got in store for you?
I’ve got the masters for my second EP sitting waiting to be released in the spring, and I started demoing ideas for an album. Hoping to get out and start gigging again, as well as some cool tours with Nitin around the UK and Portugal.

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