Let me paint you a picture. You’ve lost track of what week of quarantine it is. It’s been weeks since you’ve seen another person, so you’re a bit loopier than usual. You’re making lunch—like you do every day—when BAM! Yam Haus’ “wOw!” comes up on Spotify. Within seconds, the spoon in your hand turns into a microphone. You spin around the floor in your socks and dance up and down the hallway, all the while plucking away on your air guitar.
That’s more or less how you’ll react when you hear Yam Haus new single, “wOw!,” for the first time—which dropped today. Minneapolis-based indie-pop group Yam Haus brings us a welcoming addition to our springtime playlists with this ‘80s-sounding pop anthem that’s as buoyant as it is infectious.
With an uncharacteristic, almost unrefined falsetto, frontman Lars Pruitt’s voice bounces around repetitive riffs like a beach ball at a pool party (remember those?) It’s a different sound for the group, which formed in 2017 and is perhaps best known for their 2018 song “West Coast.” Despite that song’s title, the group has actually been steadily growing their sound on stages throughout the midwest, having sold out Minneapolis’ iconic First Avenue in 2019, and is reminiscent of Walk The Moon, American Authors, and Maroon 5.
On the surface, “wOw!” sounds like rolling the windows down while putting your foot on the gas. But lyrically, “wOw!” is about “revving in neutral when it comes to trying to make a difference – especially on the internet,” according to Pruitt. “Whether it’s politics, social justice, the climate crisis, now this global pandemic, etc. You name it, there’s so much to be said and so much to be argued about… because everyone thinks they’re right.”
This message is perhaps best realized through the song’s catchy, rapid hook, “everyone knows that they know when they know they know.” And the group certainly has a point: with everything going on in the world, the comment sections on Instagram posts can be pitfalls, with some more contentious than uplifting. Even with all the back-and-forth online, Yam Haus reminds us all that there are people out there making real, actionable, positive change. And that gives the group inspiration and optimism. Maybe that’s why “wOw!” will have you bobbing your head within seconds. It’s a little slice of hope in these strange, troubling times.
You can listen to Yam Haus’ newest single, “wOw!,” on your preferred streaming platform now.