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CANCELED: Yaeji (free)

  • Memorial Union Rathskeller 800 Langdon Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Just in time for her show in Madison, NYC-via-Korea producer and vocalist Yaeji has released her second EP of 2017, unceremoniously titled EP2. It's a short project, clocking in at just five tracks, but it's also one that puts Yaeji's adventurous blend of house music, pop, and rap on full display. "Feelings Change" and "Raingurl," the first two tracks, contrast nicely. The former is a hazy blend of woozy synths and Yaeji's own modulated vocals, sung in her customary blend of English and Korean, but is slower and more austere than anything she's released before. The transition to "raingurl" is brusque but welcomely so. Over a house beat, Yaeji raps clever but simple lines like "Mother Russia in my cup / and my glasses fogging up / oh yeah hey dog hey wassup." The hook is also completely infectious. "Drink I'm Sippin on" and "After That" are more similar to what Yaeji offered on her previous self-titled EP—half-rapped, half-sung vocals over detached synths and percussion. Neither are the best instrumentals she's produced, but her vocals maintain the intrigue and momentum of the first two tracks. She concludes, however, with "Passionfruit"—a glorious remix of Drake's hit that is better than the original. In her reconstruction, Yaeji replaces Drake's vocals, synths and snare-heavy percussion with her own modulated vocals and instrument parts that feel synthetic and futuristic. Her songwriting prowess shows here, by letting the song breathe and letting the inherent danciness live a little, where the original version of the song felt constrained for radio-play and streaming efficiency. Yaeji displays a complete lack of concern with genre and a fearless determination to blend as many influences as possible—two things that make any upcoming artist worth rooting for. —Henry Solo

Later Event: November 18
Cut Copy, Palmbomen II