Yoste is a young, ambient electronic artist from Brisbane, Australia whose real name is Kurt Sines. On all social media platforms he makes clear that his name is “Yoste like ‘Lost.’”
Known for creating relaxing, mellow vibes with his music, Yoste follows suit with “Umi.”
The single’s lyrics are cryptic and atmospheric. It’s tempting to be lulled by the easygoing beats and not realize the true depth of the lyrics and their tender nature. The song’s opening lines, “Aged by the waves / From the lake below / Caged by the weight of your heavy soul,” divulge a metaphor of people holding back others or keeping others from reaching their full potential.
The refrain feels wistful and sentimental when Yoste sings “After Dark, I was frozen, without a spark / Never chose, to be who you are / So close, so far.” Listeners pick up on a sense of indulgent yearning and of tenderness and longing.
In Japanese, “umi” translates to “sea” or “ocean.” Yoste immediately emphasizes this meaning for the listener by opening with the lyrics “aged by the waves.” In literature, the sea is frequently a symbol used to represent life and its hardships. The sea is dangerous, and it is possible to be swallowed by the sea—much like the speaker in the song who is becoming suppressed, or swallowed, by another person.
Additionally, the symbolism of “sea” in the song also represents to me the smooth, elegant tone and rhythm Yoste creates in “Umi.” The soothing effect created by Yoste’s harmonic instruments and beats should not be discounted.