San Francisco’s YENS makes an effortless debut on “Late nightS” — a summation of his laid back sound that centers around the guitar, extending into dreampop, bedroom, and hiphop influences. Distorted hiphop vocals counterpoint dreampop guitar melodies on a track that provides a refreshing take on guitar-based music.
YENS focuses on how he’s speaking more than what he’s speaking, capturing the lighthearted yet depresed feeling of using intoxicated late nights to temporarily null emotional pain as he sings, “Why is everything so black and white. I guess it’s out of mind it’s out of sight.”
Entirely self-produced and engineered, “Late Nights” shows YENS at his best, creating vibe music that sounds equally at home alongside indie tracks as it does hip hop, an illustration of the Japanese musician’s roots in both acoustic folk and rap production.
Born and raised in San Francisco’s Sunnyside neighborhood, debut artist YENS grew up in a sea of musical influences. From the Japanese American folk of his father’s old band from the 70s, to the Bay Area hyphy movement, to the neighborhood punks, to the vibrant local math + post rock scenes — YENS centers his sound around the guitar, extending outwards.
The 23 year old self-produces his own unique take on indie music, equally comfortable on dreampop melodies as 808 drum beats, combining analog production techniques from indie to heavily processed vocal treatments from hiphop.
A product of the Bay Area, YENS grew up filming skate videos and writing graffiti, passions that later grew into producing, engineering, and filming music videos for local rappers. With guitar, the childhood instrument he taught himself off youtube, as his groundwire — YENS transports guitar music into a modern, genre-blending sound.
He describes music as the only outlet to articulate and release emotions coming from a Japanese family where vulnerability isn’t culturally compatible. The result is an introspective sound that is simultaneously lighthearted and brooding.
After just graduating from Harvard with degrees in film and music, he’s currently based in LA working as a music video director contracted by Interscope Records while independently releasing music.