As a songwriter and producer, Johanne Swanson — who performs as Yohuna — maintains a masterful ability to distill chaos into calm; to contemplate the more challenging and messy matters of heart and mind with a self-assured deadpan stare and pointed stillness. Whereas her previous work centered layers of synthesizer, Mirroring was written entirely on guitar, giving her new songs a sense of catharsis and physicality. And while her debut, 2016’s Patientness, was a culmination of several formative years spent in flux, a document of coming and going, Mirroring is different: it has a set place and a time. Swanson wrote these intimate songs quickly in one purge in her bedroom in Brooklyn. When her roommate, Eric Littmann (Julie Byrne, Vagabon, Phantom Posse) heard her writing and recording them from the other side of his bedroom wall, he approached her to collaborate. Littmann ultimately co-produced, engineered, and mixed the record, alongside contributions from Adelyn Strei (guitar, flute), Warren Hildebrand (guitar) and many more friends. The results are some of Swanson’s most sweeping arrangements to date, with cello riffs that sing like a grounding human voice, harp and trombone, drums that push her loudest hooks yet forward.
(Photo Credit: Brian Vu)