Maya Yenn is a singer, songwriter, and independent producer from the United Kingdom. Her unique sound is made up of a dark alternative-pop background and vocals that are light and airy.
The musician has returned with a bouncy new single, but don’t let its upbeat vibe fool you; hidden inside this catchy pop tune lies a dire warning for all of humanity.
Maya Yenn isn’t afraid to experiment musically, and her latest album, “Better Luck Next Time,” is a prime example of this. Fusing pop, a hint of jazz, and lyrical storytelling, the album is centred around a disquieting analogy for humanity’s self-destructive behaviour and its consequences for the future of the world.
The protagonist of this song is a young man who has prioritized his job to the point where he is attempting to finish a report while his plane is crashing. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “deadline.”
The song has a bouncy bass line with a fast tempo, while the rhythm is made up of samples of aeroplane noises like the doors opening and shutting and the clicking of buttons and switches.
The whole song appears to throb and pulse with even the slightest hint of danger. Better Luck Next Time walks a fine line between being humorous and being menacing over the whole 3 minutes and 22 seconds.
The instrumentation is treated as if it were just below the surface of the sea, giving the impression that the listener is being followed by a shark. Megalodon represents the hustler culture and ecological calamity in Yenn’s eyes.
In stark contrast to the lyrical brutality (“Billowing smoke and a perforated lung / Kerosene drips like a slip of the tongue”), the track’s silky smoothness is due to the singer’s delicate voice.
The track’s title, “Better Luck Next Time,” and its accompanying watery brass and barely-surfacing orchestral moments are reminiscent of the twee, saccharine song titles you might expect from Frank Sinatra or Bob Hope from the 1950s and 1960s, respectively, suggesting a passing nod to the swing singers of yore.
It’s symptomatic of our day that a song about a grim future would be given such a flippant title. We may keep repeating, “we’ll get it right next time,” but with the world on the edge of environmental calamity and slow-to-catch-up carbon-neutral legislation, there simply isn’t going to be a future time.