This one works quickly. NYC via Seoul musician Yaeji comes across loud and clear on her debut five track EP released this month; a collection of five songs built around Yaeji’s unique vocal delivery which is a joy to behold as it effortlessly hovers just above the level of merely speaking. Yaeji’s singing anchors these soothing pop house tunes with confidence and clarity, generating a lethargic bliss whose coyness is not to be confused with flimsiness.
“Shit is crazy, shit is Yaeji,” she raps on the fantastic Feel It Out, a blissed out rap track for the Youtube house crowd that prizes repetition and attitude in a winning combination. This technique of vernacular repetition is one of Yaeji's most developed tools and utilized frequently on these songs, most notably her cover of Australian producer Mall Grab's Guap. The lyrics of Guap feel more like a reclamation than a parody, a feature that owes mightily to Yaeji’s voice’s timeless quality that allows her to trade in the currency of modern club language (“All black, from head to toe - you can't see me inside the club”) with distance but without judgement. Declaring “all I wanna do is sip on the bird,” Yaeji gives Jamie Foxx’s sacred Goose ephemeral wings.
German whips aside, Yaeji feels just as home recounting fleeting memories of her childhood on songs like Noonside and New York 93 as she does rhapsodizing on the club. These songs don't challenge as much as they please in refreshing ways. The EP is a brief but wonderful view of this artist’s potential that I hope to hear after hours for many summer nights to come. For now, Yaeji has made one of the most immediately lovable releases of the year and I for one am glad to have it around.
Words: Nick Boyd