Sydney’s Yuma X -comprised of vocalist Lucy Washington and producer Jake Smith – craft arresting, immersive electronic pop that leaves its mark. This is best felt on brand new single “Chasing Patterns”, a song that has been a long time coming for the pair. The song charts the joys and torment of a complicated, co-dependent and addictive relationship. Buttressed by propulsive, atmospheric beats and Washington’s magnetic vocals, the song teases out a relationship’s “positives and negatives, highs and lows,” says Smith.
The long-time collaborators and close friends met in 2009, at a New Year’s Eve party while they were in their final year of high school. They started working on music together soon after, combining Washington’s powerful singing chops and Jake’s dexterous, comprehensive composition skills, who up until that point had played in various local rock bands as a teenager.
The pair worked on various different projects before their collaboration morphed into Yuma X. One early iteration of the band had resulted in buzz from triple j and triple j Unearthed. The traction was the impetus to rebrand and start taking their music more seriously.
The pair toiled away in Jake’s home studio, creating what would become their first releases under Yuma X. Looking for someone to mix these songs, Smith reached out to acclaimed and Grammy-award winning engineer, producer and songwriter Eric J Dubowsky, who had worked with artists such as Flume and Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker). Dubowsky was a fan of their work, and not only mixed their recordings, but helped share their music around.
The Yuma X project exploded in 2015 with their breakout single, a cover of indie band Ghoul’s song “Swimming Pool” which garnered millions of streams online and climbed to the top of the HypeMachine charts. Their first EPHome Recordings followed soon after, and was met with similar fanfare, with sultry single “Matchstick” amassing over 2 millions streams on Spotify. Around the same time, they toured alongside electronic music heavyweights like RÜFÜS and ODESZA.
And then, life got in the way for a while. But they never stopped working on
Yuma X. Instead, they spent years in the studio, honing, developing and transforming their rich, robust brand of electronica. Washington and Smith describe the experience as a “ebb and flow” period of creative growth, which changed their music to be more danceable and conducive to live setting. “Yuma X is a nice little journey. You can start with something that feels like a nice chill Sunday afternoon vibe that ends up being this raving mad synth line that is screaming across the speakers” says Washington, “our music has really changed, in a good way. We’ve matured.”
“Chasing Patterns” is only the first taste of a bigger series of long-awaited releases from one of the most thrilling and unique voices in Australian electronica.