YANTA began life as a tribute piano cover YouTube channel artist. Standing for You Are Not Tori Amos (a play on the song You Are Not David Bowie), YANTA tirelessly and magically transcribed Tori Amos tracks into piano solo versions that were delightful to listen to, try to copy and make make your own. YANTA’s first own EP release contains four instrumental piano pieces. Each numbered Nostos Algos, they run a real gambit of emotions.
“I” has an elegant flow to it that has a growling underbelly as the low keys thump and grind under a river of notes and chords. “II” again has a flowing river tinge to it as the improvisation style allows YANTA to start off with a motif and then embellish it with repetitive power and bass. It does have a playful edge to it and I can absolutely see it being used to back up a strong vocal piece too – although it more than stands on its own merit. “III” turns to a more mysterious side and reminds me of the Final Fantasy piano collections by the way it refuses to let its guard down whilst being slightly creepy and beautiful at the same time. “IV” rotates around a motif and a single note as it skips and envelopes it. For the second half it grows in power and stature before moving down octaves and rumbling quietly home to rest.
With each track being just under three minutes, each piece is precise and on point. There’s no filler here – just emotions being played across ivory heartbeats. If not another Tori cover was made, and YANTA followed this path – I would still be a very happy ear with feet! It’s a beautiful début and with Nostos Algos meaning Welcome Home, this does feel like a homecoming.