Yohuna “Badges”

28 Feb 2014 — Henning Lahmann

People, or really anything that matters, don't need to be pretty to take our breath, Yohuna aka Wisconsin native Johanne Swanson tells us in the chorus of her latest song "Badges", a variation of The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen's famous quote "I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun," and inspired by Californian artist Faye Orlove's stunning portrait of said character. "Badges" now happens to be both breathtaking and immensely pretty; built upon a sparse Casiotone instrumentation and with a little help from her friend Emily Reo, the song's unassuming melody leaves enough room for Yohuna's lyrics to unfold a sad yet cautiously optimistic narrative about being in search of whatever, and (possibly) arriving somewhere in the end. We assume, or can at least hope, that being a radiating light will turn out to be helpful for that.

New Yohuna songs actually recorded and put down onto some physical format are still all too rare occasions, so go and cherish this one as much as her last song, the equally disarming "Apart" which came out on Le Sigh's first compilation on Birdtapes in November – because who knows how long we'll have to wait for the next one. "Badges" will be part of Boring Ecstasy, a 14-track vinyl compilation put out by Brooklyn's Orchid Tapes in celebration of the label's four-year anniversary. Pre-orders go up March 22. Check out Andi Wilson's portrait of Orchid Tapes over here.