In some ways, the state of our world in this godforsaken pandemic feels a little like the fourth act of Jurassic Park. The protagonists have made it to that big ol’ bank of circuit breakers and are flipping them on one by one, slowly restoring power. In the movie, the next job was to get away as quickly as possible and leave the island to the dinosaurs. In real life, though, the island is effectively all we’ve got. And all the problems that we faced before COVID-19 — income inequality, racism and lots more — haven’t gone anywhere.
“Diamond Studded Shoes,” the grooving new single from standout songsmith and soulful singer Yola, looks straight in the eye of the challenge ahead of us. In the bridge and chorus of the song, the multiple Americana Honors and Awards nominee sums up the sentiment that it’s going to take a LOT of work to maintain a positive trajectory, as she sings: “It ain’t gonna turn out right / That’s why we gotta fight / For the life and soul of the world we know / Because the promise is never going to be enough.”
Above, check out the music video for the song, directed by Kwaku Otchere. In the piece, Yola finds herself in a heap of frustrating situations in which things aren’t turning out well, and she’s only got herself to rely on if she wants to make them better. The track itself is a taste of a new LP from Yola, which the U.K. native made with Dan Auerbach while spending her COVID-19 quarantine time in Music City. Stand for Myself, her second LP for the Black Keys frontman’s Easy Eye Sound label following 2019’s superb Walk Through Fire, is due to be released July 30.
A release notes that Yola co-wrote songs for the album with a stellar bunch of writers: Ruby Amanfu, John Bettis, Pat McLaughlin, Natalie Hemby, Joy Oladokun, Paul Overstreet, Liz Rose, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Hannah Vasanth and Bobby Wood all contributed. The band includes drummer Aaron Frazer, who’s a well-respected solo artist, and bassist Nick Movshon, who’s also worked with Bruno Mars and the late Amy Winehouse.
You can preorder the album or presave it on a variety of streaming platforms via this handy link, or reach out to your favorite record store. Yola had a Ryman headline date set for May that’s since been postponed to a date TBA in 2022 — see her website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates.