To say that Yaeji’s had a good 2017 would be a massive understatement.
Operating under her middle name, Korean-American DJ/producer Kathy Yaeji Lee suddenly found herself at the forefront of the independent music scene after quietly releasing two wildly lauded EPs last year–the eponymous yaeji EP and the modestly named EP2. Critics and fans alike found a lot to love about her self-produced, hazy DJ style and her dual Korean and English lyricism, attracting worldwide attention for the young artist. What helped Yaeji grow her audience even further were the videos for the dance-infectious “Raingurl” and “Drink I’m Sipping On” music videos, which were released by 88Rising at the same time. With reporters from all over calling her music a “global sensation“, one that “captures the Asian-American Experience“, and even the “Sound of 2018“, there’s been a lot of hype for whatever she decides to release next. And hyped is exactly how we’re feeling after listening to “One More”, her latest offering.
Officially returning after dropping a remix of Charli XCX’s “Focus” last week, Yaeji works with new themes and steps away from that free-spirited persona that she was on EP2. In a mini press-release via her Bandcamp, she states that the theme of this song is all about “enduring and coming to terms with pain until you have the strength to forgive and move on” after being “betrayed by someone [she] trusted”, and there’s clear evidence of that suppressed anger throughout.
“One More” starts off with Yaeji’s signature hazy vocals, overlapping and meandering until they converge into one. Once she finds her voice again (symbolically as well!) a few seconds in, Yaeji begins singing softly in Korean, using her enchanting syllabic lyrics to complement the sparse hi-hat beat in the song. So far, super chill.
But after a second, more defined beat kicks in midway through, Yaeji suddenly spills out “so I can fall and hurt and learn but you don’t need to change a thing / That’s how it is” in a single breath. A now (obviously) annoyed Yaeji continues, spitting out sarcastic one-liners like “so go and let my feelings fall” and “apologies are made for fun”. These are the clearest moments in the song, an anomaly for a DJ who is renowned for her signature dreamy vocal delivery. But you’d never know that she’s had these feelings on her mind if you just listened to the beat–Yaeji keeps her composure throughout the song and never raises her voice above a whisper.
Though “One More” is in a thematically new realm for Yaeji, she makes it work–managing to fit it in snugly into the rest of her sonic universe and creating another infectious low-key banger.
“One More” is on our Spotify Electronic playlist! Check it out here.