YARA | Credit: Claire Giuffre

Track By Track: YARA Breaks Down Her Debut EP ‘Lonely Love Affair’

Melbourne-based, Palestinian neo-soul performer YARA has released her debut EP, Lonely Love Affair. Now in her mid-20s, YARA spent her teen years living in Victoria’s Western District. She moved to Melbourne when she was 18 and enrolled in a music performance degree.

On Lonely Love Affair, YARA reflects on the experiences that have allowed her to grow into herself while navigating the lust, disconnection and heartbreak of early adulthood. To tie with the EP’s release, YARA tells Music Feeds the stories behind all five songs on Lonely Love Affair. She’ll play an album launch show at Melbourne’s Gasometer Hotel on Thursday, 25th May.

YARA: Lonely Love Affair

1. Hard Thing

YARA: I wrote this track after a therapy session where we talked about the breakup of a toxic relationship I was going through at the time. It seemed like I was really struggling and going through a difficult patch. My therapist brought to my attention that I was doing a very healthy thing and that this part is supposed to be hard. “You’re doing the hard thing right now,” she said.

She gave me hope of coming out stronger and healthier on the other side of this painful period. She gave me excitement to meet a version of myself that knew her worth and didn’t settle for crumbs. Once the hard thing is done, a new power will come to fruition.

2. Lonely Love Affair

YARA: ‘Lonely Love Affair’ is about the birth of a relationship within yourself as a result of the death of a relationship with someone else.

When a relationship ends, sometimes it feels as if the person you’ve loved has passed on and is no longer here. This can be because people simply change and grow all the time, but It can feel like you’re grieving a loss. Your favourite version of a person is no longer there and so you must move on. You’re in mourning.

When writing this, I got very comfortable with the idea of dying alone. I love the thought of being in love with yourself and how much fun dating yourself can be.

There’s so much said about being in relationships in the media and literally over a million love songs. We’re promised this idea of a person who will complete us – it’s a toxic, romanticised tradition to fall in love. But no one tells you how to love yourself.

3. Back of the Uber

YARA: This track embodies the desperate desire to belong to someone’s heart. Going on the journey of dating someone new, experiencing them losing interest and connecting the dots during Uber rides.

I find myself processing every date, every great and shitty experience, on the way home. There’s something so therapeutic about being in the back of a car, with no task at hand, free to let my mind go and stare out the window, listening to my favourite sad late-night song.

4. Bad Behaviour

YARA: This one’s about being hurt/upset that the other person isn’t even slightly concerned about the outcome caused by their actions and bad behaviour.

When I wrote this, I enjoyed the freedom of thinking negatively about this person without limiting myself to being the bigger person (which I usually try to be). I was finding catharsis in just feeling what I needed to feel, even if that was anger, which can sometimes be a taboo emotion for womxn.

5. Same Set of Keys

YARA: This one is based on a fashion trend that a lot of Melbourne/Northside fuck boys follow. You know how a lot of them wear their keys on their belts? Yeah. I’ve dated a couple of those. I use that as a metaphor to describe the paranoia I experience every time I start seeing someone new. I think, “Every man carries the same set of keys and is capable of making me feel stuck.”

I wrote this a couple of years ago when I was struggling to let go of a certain relationship. I felt quite literally locked up even though I’m a person with free will. We wanted different things and I wasn’t strong enough to say, “No I don’t want this anymore”. I just went along with what the other person wanted for me but always felt claustrophobic.

This impacted my next relationship and casted a shadow over it because I still had not grown and done the work I needed to do in order to comfortably know and say what I wanted.

YARA’s debut EP, Lonely Love Affair, is out now. See YARA at the Gasometer Hotel (Upstairs) on Thursday, 25th May. Tickets available here.

Further Reading

Track by Track: Fascinator’s Johnny Mackay on His New Album ‘Lovesongs’

Track by Track: Hannah Blackburn Breaks Down Her Spare and Intimate Debut Album ‘I Want to Love You’

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