Pick of the Week: Yola “Diamond Studded Shoes”

Yola "Diamond Studded Shoes"
Graphics by Ainsley Basic

By Mehvish Ali, Staff Writer

As a pre-celebration to Yola’s second EP Stand For Myself coming out later this month, the anthemic lead single “Diamond Studded Shoes” was dropped on April 22nd, sending chills down our spine. Nashville-based British singer-songwriter Yola reunited with producer Dan Auerbach to create the long-awaited release.

The powerhouse vocalist became a sensation with her first Dan Auerbach-produced 2019 debut album Walk Through Fire. According to Rolling Stone, Yola has “one of the mightiest voices in pop today.” Her devoted fans include Baz Luhrmann and Brandi Carlile. The soulful singer has an infectious quality that gets you hooked from the minute you hear the song. With a fierce sound and blazing backbeat, “Diamond Studded Shoes” blends blues and country into one smooth mix. The track reinforces what a world-class artist Yola truly is.
 

DIVING INTO THE LYRICS AND SOUND OF “DIAMOND STUDDED SHOES” 

“Diamond Studded Shoes” is a masterpiece artwork in an exhibition. A dynamic and uplifting song that calls to protest, emerging with a victorious and glorious sound. The true value of the song, however, is exposed by the lyrics which complete the track. “We are the poor ones... working just to make it alright, when we know it isn’t,” she sings. Yola reveals the harsh reality of ordinary people, as society becomes increasingly unequal in terms of wealth and distribution.

In one verse, Yola plays on the phrase “burning our reserves of courage.” She implies that courage is like an asset that people possess to survive, but even that can have limits and erode in the direst circumstances. A powerful message that speaks to a bigger wave of social disparity in the world, the track harnesses a sense of urgency to keep on fighting against injustice.

Fusing classic pop and symphonic soul, the record embodies a distinct sonic blend. A woman with a bold perspective, Yola’s realistic take on the social structures of inequity is echoed in her work. She sings “You and I are trying, but we don’t get to decide when the man comes for our paychecks, don’t you tell me it will be alright,” not to say give up, but rather to push towards fighting for what is right.

Keep an eye out for Yola’s new EP, available July 30th
 
Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!

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