Premiere: Yes Kid Shares New EP ‘Lighten Up’ - Stream It Below | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Premiere: Yes Kid Shares New EP ‘Lighten Up’ - Stream It Below

Lighten Up Is Out February 2nd

Feb 01, 2022 Bookmark and Share

Singer/songwriter Yael Kaufman started writing music as Yes Kid in 2019, releasing her debut EP, I Need a Minute just before the onset of the pandemic. In the wake of the lockdowns, Kaufman spent nearly a year away from music, convinced that the inspiration to write was forever gone. After recommitting herself to her mental health, Kaufman returned to Yes Kid late last year, sharing the first tastes of her upcoming EP, Lighten Up.

Inspired by those days of searching and anxiety, Lighten Up sees Kaufman crafting three tracks worth of charming and scrappy indie rock. Kaufman also teamed with Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties on engineering, production, and mixing, along with mastering by Sarah Register and drums by Chris Geller. The full EP is out tomorrow, but you can get an early listen to Lighten Up below, premiering with Under the Radar.

Unsurprisingly, Lighten Up shares a lot of musical DNA with Tudzin’s celebrated ‘tenderpunk’ outfit, whether in the breezy melodies of “Too Much Feeling (Not Enough Screaming)” or the raw, whisper-quiet introduction of “If I’m Honest.” But Kaufman shows plenty of flashes of melodic brilliance and tender vulnerability that are all her own.

She’s able to turn on a dime from punchy indie rock to intimate confessions, a talent that she executes flawlessly on each track here. “Too Much Feeling (Not Enough Screaming)” features plenty of both feelings and screaming, married with sweet girl group harmonies and surfy guitars. Meanwhile, “Dead Wrong” trades on a grungey quiet-loud dynamic, alternating between soft acoustic verses and crunchy guitar-driven choruses. Finally, “If I’m Honest” features the EP’s most instantaneously catchy chorus, set against a rollicking indie punk drum beat and more heart-warming harmonies.

Amidst it all, Kaufman tracks the long process of getting better, in all of its highs and lows. She documents being overwhelmed and overstimulated on “Too Much Feeling (Not Enough Screaming)” and dives into her propensity for self-sabotage on “Dead Wrong”一 “I will quit while I’m ahead / If I ever get there.” But, she does leave the EP on a bit of a high note with “If I’m Honest,” learning to be okay with the fact that she may never have it all together. If you’re like Kaufman and you “can’t stop feeling everything,” chances are you may find a piece of yourself in this EP too.

Kaufman says of the EP, ‘I had just started therapy and found out that I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. At the time, I was in a constant swing of anxiety highs and drained lows. It was exhausting. So I guess the name ‘Lighten Up’ is sort of a joke. I really hate when anyone says that to me, you know? Haha. But my days actually were lightening up a bit, so I guess the joke’s on me! I was finally having some good days alongside the rough ones. I guess I sort of feel like this EP takes you through all of that - high highs and low lows, all those things you’re forced to contend with when you really look inward, yada yada yada.’

The entire album was engineered, produced, and mixed by Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties, mastered by Sarah Register, with drums by Chris Geller. YK says ‘Working with Sarah (Tudzin) was actually a dream. We’ve known each other since we were teenagers, but only really reconnected in the last few years. We were really in sync, so the process moved really smoothly. I’ve never made music that quickly before, and honestly, it’s made me love the songs so much more. It was my first time working with Sarah (Register) and Chris, and they were both so incredible to work with too.”

Check out the full EP below, out everywhere tomorrow February 2nd.

Yes Kid · Lighten Up EP


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