Installation I Johnny Yukon
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- 1First Night03:40
- 3I Like03:18
- 6Snooze (feat. Cousin Stizz)02:59
- 8All Out02:52
- 11Good Ones02:48
Info for Installation I
Over a smoked-out mélange of R&B, abstract pop, and hip-hop, Pennsylvania-born and Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter-producer Johnny Yukon threads together an all-encompassing experience for his upcoming debut project, Installation I. Enhanced by grainy visuals captured on Super 8 film and fashion-forward stills rooted in vintage, yet modern panache, Yukon upholds consistent cinematic motifs across sound and style. His world draws as much from Kubrickian attention to detail and Christopher Nolan-style scope as it does from unpredictable production and hazy melodicism.
“The songs on Installation I came together like a moving art piece,” Yukon explains. “The videos intentionally resemble different sets or exhibits. Artistically, the elements work in conjunction. It’s like watching a show. Thematically, I’m writing about struggling with love as well as balancing self, success, worth, mental health, and pressure not to fail. A lot of my thoughts come through the lyrics. It’s the most introspective thing I’ve done so far in songwriting. But, this is only my first project.”
Throughout 2017, Yukon carefully assembled every nuance. Between establishing himself as an in-demand songwriter with placements ranging from Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz to Camila Cabello and Leon Bridges, he ignited a groundswell of early fan and tastemaker support as an artist. Accompanied by a Deer Hunter-inspired video, his track “Snooze” generated 4 million-plus cumulative streams within a few months’ time, while G-Eazy tapped him for an assist on “Eyes Closed.” Acclaim came from the likes of Pigeons & Planes, DJ Booth, and more.
Co-producing the bulk of Installation I alongside frequent collaborator Burns and co-directing the visuals through his creative coalition Yukon Camp, Yukon positioned himself to make a cohesive and comprehensive statement born at the nexus of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Kanye West’s Graduation.
“This project truly represents who I am right now,” he says. “2016/2017 was a grind year filled with session after session on top of working 30-40 hours a week. I didn’t have much of a personal life. Then suddenly, I found myself in a really intense relationship. I fell in love and got fully invested. There are some things that messed with my head, but I learned a lot. It taught me what I really want, which is the freedom to create my way, to execute my vision.”
Yukon leverages that freedom on Installation I. Built on an initial beat Yukon cooked up in his bedroom, the first single “Lonely” hinges on a dreamy soundscape rounded out by production from Burns. It quickly slips from shimmering falsetto into the quotable hook, “I’ve been missing all the things we do. I only wanna feel lonely with you.”
“It’s built around the feeling of missing an ex or someone you’re used to being with,” he reveals. “We all feel lonely sometimes. Even if you’re with the person you love, you might feel lonely. But it’s better to be lonely with someone.”
Elsewhere on the project, “Healing” nods to Marvin Gaye’s plea for “Sexual Healing” over handclaps, otherworldly synth echoes and 808s.
“It’s about the pure physical aspect of a relationship that both myself and this girl need sometimes,” he goes on. “You let yourself have a night of indulging, relaxing, and taking a break from how stressful life is. Drink some Hennessy or smoke a spliff and drift off.”
Meanwhile, single “Do Me Like That” translates frustration into off-time percussion and a chantable chorus that’s impossible to shake, “So baby, how do you do me like that?”
“I like songs that pose questions,” he elaborates. “I put the effort in with this one girl. I spent money, took a ton of time, and really devoted myself. All of a sudden, she went ghost, stopped responding, and made it seem like things were done. There’s a specific bounce to it. I want to come in different waves with everything I do.”
Installation I stands out as the introductory wave, and it hints at a whole lot more on the horizon from Yukon.
“There will be many more installations,” he leaves off. “When you’re listening to it, I hope you connect. I’ve been in love with lyrics, storytelling, beats, and melodies for my entire life. I want to put those on display. This is something you can listen to on a drive at night when it’s cold out or on an evening flight with headphones on. At the same time, you can dance to it and sing along. My goal is to have Yukon be a whole world you keep coming back to.”
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