Jonah Yano has shared the first single of his forthcoming release souvenir, due out June 19th via Innovative Leisure. The album is the follow up his 2019 debut EP nervous, and includes collaborations from producers Monsune, Leland Whitty & Alexander Sowinski of BADBADNOTGOOD, and Jacques Greene, the 11-song collection touches on themes of family separation, healing, and reconciling with the past.
The album’s debut single “shoes” reflects an emotional reunion between Jonah his father Tatsuya Muraoka. Having not seen each other in 15 years, Yano visited his father in Nagato in the fall of 2019 with the goal of making sense of their complicated relationship. Most of the track was recorded live at some point in the 1990’s in Hiroshima, with Yano’s own vocals filling gaps between his father’s vocals.
“The song in my dad’s Japanese lyrics are about a pair of shoes he bought me when I was a kid,” Yano explains. “My verses question his absence from my childhood and my general confusion about my circumstance, which was a fatherless upbringing in an entirely different country as a result of my parents’ separation.”
Recording the album in Tokyo’s Red Bull studios, a log cabin in Nagato, Toronto’s Studio 69, and his own home — the intensely personal album incorporates Yano’s unique sound with a deeply relatable concept, making it the natural follow-up to an already impressive catalogue. With each track delving into Yano’s personal history, the album tells the story of his parents’ separation and absence of his father from his life through the perspective of each of his family members. Following the separation of his parents in 1998 in Hiroshima and subsequent move to Vancouver, Yano spent years with very little connection to his father beyond occasional calls and birthday presents.