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Mirroring

by Yohuna

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about

As a songwriter and producer, Johanne Swanson—who performs as Yohuna—maintains a masterful ability to distill chaos into calm; to contemplate the more challenging and messy matters of heart and mind with a self-assured deadpan stare and pointed stillness. Whereas her previous work centered layers of synthesizer, Mirroring was written entirely on guitar, giving her new songs a sense of catharsis and physicality. And while her debut, 2016's Patientness, was a culmination of several formative years spent in flux, a document of coming and going, Mirroring is different: it has a set place and a time. Swanson wrote these intimate songs quickly in one purge in her bedroom in Brooklyn. When her roommate, Eric Littmann (Julie Byrne, Vagabon, Phantom Posse) heard her writing and recording them from the other side of his bedroom wall, he approached her to collaborate. Littmann ultimately co-produced, engineered, and mixed the record, alongside contributions from Adelyn Strei (guitar, flute), Warren Hildebrand (guitar) and many more friends. The results are some of Swanson's most sweeping arrangements to date, with cello riffs that sing like a grounding human voice, harp and trombone, drums that push her loudest hooks yet forward.

credits

released June 7, 2019

Written, arranged, and performed by Yohuna *
Yohuna is Johanne Swanson
Produced by Yohuna and Eric Littmann
Engineered and mixed by Eric Littmann
Mastered by Warren Hildebrand

Additional Instrumentation:
Adelyn Strei - guitar, flute
Cale Israel - trombone
Emily Yacina - vocals on "Rain & Prairie Snow"
Eric Littmann - bass, synth, guitar
Felix Walworth - drums on “Dead to Me”
Greg Rutkin - drums
Hilary James - cello
Marilu Donovan - harp
Michael Caridi - guitar on “So Free”
Warren Hildebrand - guitar

* “Find A Quiet Place” co-written with Eric Littmann

Thank you to my parents who taught me about music and love, and support my love of music. Thank you to those who played on the album, provided the artwork, and worked on the team to release it. Special thanks to Eric Littmann and Warren Hildebrand, the best project managers I could imagine; Adelyn Strei, my longest friend and collaborator; Emily Yacina, my newest friend and collaborator. To all my friends, you’re the good soil I grow in. Fizz Perkal, for seeing me. Michael Caridi, for helping me see.

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Yohuna Brooklyn, New York

[yo-HUN-ah]

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Track Name: Knowing U
How could my heart be open or learn to trust?
I loved us
And still ache with the truth
You’re the one I couldn’t stand to lose
And knowing you, just knowing you
Track Name: Fades to Blue
I’d like to tell you how I started making plans
I like to put you in them and then take you out again

Thanks for showing me my truth
Not all pathways lead to you
I write it in water it fades to blue
Not all pathways lead to you

I wish I wasn’t blacked out during our first kiss
I made my bed so you would come over and sit on it

My truest friend
Track Name: Rain & Prairie Snow
Do you speak well of me?
I’m a flock of flying geese
Getting out before your heavy feet
Could ever catch me

How’s relief from tending
Apples you won’t ever eat?
Now rotting on the ground next season’s coming round
After hail and snow and sleet

Fall back and watch you grow
You’re a flower, perennial
I’ll come and go
I am rain and prairie snow
Track Name: See Me
You’re so cowardly
And that’s why you always leave
With another broken piece
Does it feel like security?

You suck the light from me
And that’s why I’m always mean
A vessel without needs
It’s not too much to ask

See me
Feel you hanging over me
Like a bunch of prayer beads
And late night pleas
See me
Crying at the beach
I just called to see
If I could hear you through the trees
Track Name: Mirroring
What’s you?
What do you see
And choose not to?

Am I a fool
thinking my stuffs
Not too much for you?

I see you
(Is that just me?)
Mirroring
I see you
(There’s me)
Mirroring

What’s true?
What did you do
And can’t undo?

No psychic tool
Under the sun
Could bring me close enough to you
Track Name: Dead to Me
You’re dead to me too
I do my best to keep a place in my heart for you
All that we’d been through
Can’t consent when you withheld the truth
Yeah you’re dead to me too

I’m a dart in the night
Trying to figure out why
Two faced all of your lies
Speed fast to another life
Yeah you’re dead to me too

Not a good friend to lose
I do my best to keep a place in my mind for you
All the lessons you proved
Can’t trust a man once he’s bit he’ll come back to chew
Yeah you’re dead to me too

I’m losing sleep at night
Trying to figure out why
You could think you’re in the right
Cut you out for a piece of my pride
Yeah you’re dead to me too
Track Name: Find A Quiet Place
Never know is always something
Mark it twice I’ll call you someday
Back in the valley voices softly
Say to you I’ll love you always
Track Name: Stranger
Like how you’re strange
And act in ways
I haven’t met
I’m afraid
I haven’t seen
The worst things get
I need one good day
From the start
Til late

Stranger

I’d like to live
Like how you drive
With a calm
Confidence
By my side
A little scar I
Couldn’t hide
It makes me

Stranger
I’m nearer
Stranger
How I’m your mirror
Strange
How this feeling is now
Track Name: Waiting
I’d like to ask you to
Hold my face in your hands
Say you understand,
“I know you can’t sleep but it’s
Good to close your eyes and be still
The body needs rest”

Cut my hair short for years
And I’m waiting, waiting
For change that’s only clear
When I’m waiting way too long
When is the perfect day
That doesn’t start with you?

I want you beside me
But you were not beside me
Your arms, did I feel them in a dream?
Unrest and consequence
I’m pulling out all requests
This body is a test

Moving every two years
I am waiting, waiting
For change that’s only clear
When I’m waiting way too long
When is the perfect day
That doesn’t start with you?
Track Name: So Free
I fall back so easy with you
And you seem brand new
But haven’t you?
Hadn’t you?
Where were you?

Biopsy is when you take a piece
Laying there
I don’t wanna be here
Or anywhere
Anywhere

You cried so tenderly on my rooftop eating Chinese
Considering our history and that I wasn’t always so free

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