Words by Peta.
An International Womens’ Day GIFT. Melbourne based Palestinian soul and RnB songstress, YARA, has just dropped her debut release ‘Man Hater,' intentionally and unapologetically on the most important day of the year.
Heavily influenced by the sounds of Amy Winehouse, Lianne La Havas, Emily King and Snoh Aalegra - YARA is a formidable commentator on the state of play in women’s rights. She uses her soul laden grooves to enrapt and educate with the smoothness of lullabies.
‘Man Hater’ is a rhythmic and melodic symphony of swooning harmonies, horns and heart. It’s not in the slightest bit over-indulgent in subject matter. With a sweetly layered soundscape, ‘Man Hater’ balances poignant truths with blissful instrumental arrangements - it’s glorious listening with the power to generate critical thinking.
Far from being an aggressive stab at men, YARA’s debut is an emotive and constructive conversation spurrer, surrounding the mundane prejudices that many women experience day-to-day. She says it’s a piece about the poor way in which society treats women, "specifically outspoken women, who request change.”
The overarching cry of the song is the want to be understood without premeditated assumptions, behavioural expectations or victim blaming afterwords.
Straight up, women are sick of being called ‘Man Haters’ when they relinquish their truths. YARA explains the distinction between being dignified as a self-reliant woman verses the hating man label incorrectly associated with modern feminism.
She explains the frustrations of not being able to tell men how to ‘think or ‘say’ without being slammed. The debut is a cathartic response to the factions of society that have written off the women who speak and act as they please.
Rapping accompaniment by artist Manali is a powerful monologue with lines: “Women of the world if you’re wondering, it’s time to raise hell… sharpen your weapons of wit…tell them you don’t get to decide whether my body is mine.”
A true force of a debut, ‘Man Hater’ is a testament to the driven talent strewn throughout the female and non-binary music community in Melbourne, and YARA is their vessel.
Happy International Women’s Day, you lot.