I Ya Toyah – Pray

Posted: 10 May 2021 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , ,

7th May 2021

James Wells

Having just released her new EP “one-woman industrial army” follows single cut ‘Out pf Order’ with ‘Pray’, which goes beyond its superficially religious themes and strives to ‘bring hope to life in lockdown’ described as an ‘outreach for hope – an asking for the sign that there is a future waiting for us in the times where the values we all stand by no longer define humanity’. The press release also goes on to suggest that the music video, ‘a visual representation of this message, takes it to an even darker and more obscure space’.

It’s certainly an extravagant piece of filmography, but that’s no criticism: in lockdown we’ve become accustomed to visuals that – by necessity – are DIY and homespun, with blurry clips of local walks and home interiors, so this is an extremely welcome change. Said promo finds I Ya Toya in an array of dramatic illuminations and dressed in feathers, among other things, while the song itself pivots between a writhing, low-key grind of a verse and a bold, anthemic chorus.

She wrestles with the torment of life in lockdown, the isolation, the aching emptiness, the anxiety and low mood, that not knowing what to do with yourself and the lacking the motivation and wherewithal to do the things you do want to… and it resonates. While so much industrial music – by the very nature of the genre – is depersonalised and lacks that human, emotional edge, ‘Pray’ sees I Ya Toyah break free of the machine to reveal a rare warmth and vulnerability.

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