Yawners is the project of Madrid-based guitarist and songwriter Elena Nieto, accompanied on drums by Martín Muñoz. Cutting her teeth as part of the infamous Spanish scene which gave us the likes of The Parrots and Hinds, Nieto is in good company from the off.
But whilst her music has an edge of the scrappy garage aesthetic of her contemporaries, there’s also a vibrant punk-pop feel to her writing. Nieto references the ‘90s alt-indie of Weezer and Pavement in her press, but the music feels more current, leaning closer to the likes of Lemuria, Doe or Tancred.
Having begun Yawners as a solo DIY project, releasing her own songs and booking her own shows, Nieto slowly began recruiting different members to the band as life took her to different places. She spent two years in Germany playing with different collaborators, before returning to Spain and meeting Muñoz.
The result is debut album album Just Calm Down, on which Nieto does anything but. From wall to wall this is a record packed with sharp bursts of high energy melody, guitars that punch through the crush of punctuating cymbals, and lyrics that display tender tact for all the guts they are delivered with.
“I don’t want to be just another girl in your head” yells Nieto on "Arco Iris", while on "Forgiveness" she searches, “Will you ever forgive your friend?” She masters balancing the brightness of her vocal lines with the honest, painful and wonderful banalities of real life in your early twenties. On lead single "Please, Please, Please" she pleads with a disarming simplicity that plays out like a singalong kick to the gut.
From the opening call of "The Friend Song" to cathartic closer "I’m Not Gonna Miss You Anyway", this is a record bursting with tightly produced, perfectly composed, hooky, smart, angsty, bright power pop. Each track hits around the three minute mark, ebbs and soars with choruses that catch, and is an absolute joy to press play on. Ten tracks so delightfully indulgent they’ll make you yearn for your adolescence. Ten points to Gryffindor.