It takes a glorious melody and a deeply layered arrangement to create the space necessary to contain a great voice like Yola’s. Her vocal soars in the chorus of ‘Starlight’, the latest single from one of the UK’s finest singers, and there’s a sense of uplifting joy in Yola’s performance. This is an artist right at the top of her game. Yola says of the song’s message: “‘Starlight’ is a song about looking for positive physical, sexual and human connections at every level of your journey towards love. The world seems to attach a negative trope of cold heartlessness to the concept of any sexual connection that isn’t marriage, this song looks through a lens of warmth specifically when it comes to sex positivity. Understanding the necessity of every stage of connection and that it is possible for every stage of your journey in love, sex and connection to be nurturing. Temporary or transitory doesn’t have to be meaningless or miserable. In the right situations every connection can teach us something valuable about who we are, what we want and what is healthy.” It’s an uplifting anthem for love, positivity and open-hearted emotion.
The video, directed by Ford Fairchild, sees Yola walking empty city streets at night, the bright lights in soft-focus behind her as she sings of romantic love. Yola explains the video’s message: “I wanted to put something into the world that showed people what my dating life is like now. I’m currently single, yes, but I’m not neglected or some soulless sex robot. The volume of media dedicated to showing dark skinned Black women having a nice normal time in romantic situations, be it true love or just dating, is still lacking in my opinion.”
The single is taken from Yola’s forthcoming Dan Auerbach-produced album ‘Stand for Myself’, a powerful set of songs born out of the isolation of the global pandemic. As Yola’s touring schedule ground to a halt and plans to play Sister Rosetta Tharpe in the upcoming Elvis film by Baz Luhrmann were put on hold, Yola was presented with an opportunity to craft soulful new songs. Check it out from 30th July.