YONAKA’s rise to fame may not be as meteoric as Olivia Rodrigo’s, the Kid Laroi’s, or even Billie Eilish’s, but the group has quietly amassed a great big audience with their style of cryptic music and visuals that sort of feels like a flip version of Phoebe Bridgers. Their latest single, “PANIC”, is no different. Heavy with lyrics that address mental breakdown and the feeling of not being in control of one’s actions, “PANIC” weaves through a tangled jungle of dread.
“I’m sorry if I caused alarm and made you panic / But see these voices in my head they drive me manic / I tripped up, slipped up, did a bad thing / I can’t get no peace ’cause my mind rings,” the lead vocalist Theresa Jarvis sings, with minimal instruments backing her soft voice.
By the time the chorus arrives, the guitar, the beat and the singing grow heavy, and Jarvis’s voice beautifully carries through the massive chant. “Your empty death threats ain’t got nothing on me / I’ll take it to the grave when I R.I.P when I’m gone / You good for nothing son of a gun I’ll take you down / Know your enemy when drowning your soul ’cause the drinks are free,” the chorus goes, leaving it open to interpretation whether the person is addressing an external or a mental threat.
“PANIC is a song about having a panic attack and how the body gets taken over by this other entity. I’ve got the angel and the devil on my shoulders constantly arguing about which road I should go down, and how mental health carries a weight so heavy that it’s hard to feel affected by outside dangers,” Jarvis said about the track. “But I want you to feel the lightness of the track and I want it to make you laugh because I’m literally having an argument with myself.”
The accompanying music video is a testament to how well visuals can enhance a song. With scenes shot in a moving vehicle – including those where Jarvis is hanging on the front of a moving truck – the video used dark and haunting visuals to carry on their message: Panic.
One of the main locations features human-like figures bundled up and hanging upside down, as like an abattoir. We also see Jarvis bundled up and being dragged away, or even tied, as she sings “P.A.N.I.C,” while one of the other two members screech into the face of the other.
Fans have the chance of hearing “PANIC” and the group’s other songs live during their ongoing European and UK tour.