And as simply as that, Yola encapsulates the giddy expansiveness, stunning emotional breadth, and exponential musical growth of her sophomore album Stand For Myself. She may only be saying four words, but it’s a whole new world. Everything about the album—musically, lyrically, spiritually—explores the epiphany that making decisive choices leads to freedom. If her critically acclaimed 2019 debut Walk Through Fire was an exhilarating exercise in country soul, Stand For Myself explores the concept of genre. The album features a fluidity of sound that defies categorization weaving elements of symphonic soul, mellifluous pop melodies, disco grooves, rootsy rawness, and ecstatic gospel power into a package with instant appeal.
For those who fell in love with the singular British artist on Walk Through Fire—and the love affair was fierce with both critics and the Recording Academy which recognized Yola with four Grammy nominations—listening to Stand For Myself is like stepping out of Kansas into Oz. Home may have been cozy and full of great songs, but it’s time to take the Yola ride in full Technicolor. And there’s no place like Stand For Myself.