Looking for an anthem for your self-sufficient swinging single summer? Look no further than right here within the 128, with a single from Weymouth-based pop singer Yavin called, fittingly, “Me.”.
“Me.” is an ode to the self and the self-preservation that comes after a breakup. Musically, the song is a synth pop bop with a rapping and singing break from subaltern Texan artist Street Queer. A general lightness to the song switches up in the chorus with a heavier synth underscoring a musical scale warm-up made into a lyrical refrain. This is a radio-friendly offering from the 23-year-old artist, whose government name is Manny Camargo. (If you were wondering, ‘Yavin’ is pronounced fairly close to how a Bostonian might pronounce the word ’starving’.)
The song, intentionally or not, reflects a certain temporality of relationships in a youthful city like Boston. Fall brings with it cuffing season; for college freshmen, this sometimes happens in late November after one has “turkey dumped” their high school sweetheart once back home for Thanksgiving. The end of spring semester in May, on the converse, often results in partners being lost to the 20-something wind. For non-students, ends of leases carry this same significance; for every Allston Christmas, there is an equivalent exchange of lovebirds moving in together or once-bold couples splitting up as one partner chases trailheads in Thailand or internships in Indianapolis. It’s a rhythm of coupling and uncoupling that leaves me, an otherwise eager single 20-something, feel pessimistic about casual dating with anyone vaguely between the ages of 22 and 32.
“Me.” carries a crucial message for Boston’s wayward young masses: it’s totally OK to abscond from the dating scene and direct energy back onto one’s self. In Yavin’s case, he’s centering himself due to being scorned by a former lover. But for gay people of any gender, it’s an important message to keep this in mind no matter what one’s dating history looks like. We may look at our straight 20-something peers getting married, or omnipresent queer power couples in media or in the scene here, and go on to internalize this feeling that we just haven’t tried hard enough or haven’t put ourselves out there sufficiently. But for us, self-preservation can also mean leaving dating culture and FOMO behind and restoring the truly valuable currency of self-love. Quoth Yavin: “The world is so much brighter now that you’re out of my way / Shoulders feeling so much lighter now that I can finally say, baby / That it’s all about me”. A lighthearted rap verse by Street Queer takes some of the fiery sting of our fuckboy ex-lovers and allows it to drift way like a windward ember.
I co-sign this track on two fronts; one, it’s catchy; two, it makes me feel seen as an occasionally bitter single gay boy. And if you liked this song as much as I did, you’re in luck! Yavin has more whimsical achillean pop to offer: his newly-released album “Growing Up.” is now available on all major platforms.
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So the first review of the album is in…. and it’s a VERY good one ?? Thank you SO much @theqreviews for giving “Growing Up.” the early listen & for all of your incredibly kind words. Can’t wait for you all to hear it tonight, see you in 11 hours. ? • • ?: @oj_slaughter & @haasanbarclay
Hassan Ghanny is a writer and music journalist based in Boston, MA. For more of his work, follow him on Instagram @diaspora.gothic.