With an opening cry of “C-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n,” London 5-piece Yassassin launch headlong into an untreated piece of rock ‘n’ roll mayhem on new single Citizen. “I guess it’s about realising that as messed up as our world is, there are still so many people who care and get themselves involved in fighting injustices. It really gives you hope. It’s important for young people to speak up, demonstrate, to get involved politically if that’s your thing, to write songs, make art,” the band explain.
Bloody hell things have changed, haven’t they? It was only a few years ago when we had the likes of Farris from The Horrors saying that politics meant nothing to him and the vast majority of indie / alternative artists were keeping their mouths shut on any sort of social commentary less it risked damaging their careers. Now bands seem to be stumbling over themselves to make their views known.
Whether it’s having any real impact remains to be seen though. In the UK the Conservative government remains in power and last year the Electoral Commission warned that whilst there was an increased turnout at the general election, at local Council elections young people were still not engaged - they weren’t voting in their masses like they did in the snap general election. There’s a worry here that politics has become trendy / fashionable but only so far as singing ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ along to a White Stripes tune and tweeting how much you hate Theresa May and Brexit.
Yassassin sound like they mean every word they sing though. Citizen is almost brutal in its approach. “The children gonna wake up,” comes the chant against the scuzzy strut of the guitars that bring massive slabs of energy and passion to the song. “I’m a citizen,” just isn’t a thing that UK indie bands would have sung five years ago. Sure, there’s an argument that pop and politics have always been uneasy bedfellows, but as Yassassin point out in Citizen, it’s time to wake up. Get involved.
Yassassin - Citizen