Luna Li’s ‘jams EP’ is a masterclass in brevity, charm, and creativity
When we nominated Luna Li’s “Afterglow” as our 5th favorite track from last year, we mentioned that if we could have nominated any of her 1~ minute insta-jams as well, we definitely would. These short jams were never officially released anywhere, but were frequently posted across the artist’s socials as short ideas and experiments that, despite their brevity, had fans clamoring for more. Well, this music-making moon fairy had enough magic in her to make our wish come true, because Luna Li surprised us yesterday with her official release of the 10-track jams EP, full of her favorite jams that hit just the right spot in about a minute or less.
It’s no secret that Toronto-based Luna Li (Hannah Bussiere Kim) is an incredibly talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, but this EP is a prime refresher of that fact. In no time at all, each track immediately teleports you to a magical place with a lush and textured sound, consisting of almost all the tools Kim keeps in her arsenal. These range from her harp offering a delicate touch, her bass offering funky countermelodies, her electric guitar harmoniously riffing, to angelic synths, violins, and vocal layerings that float above it all. On top of this, Kim arranged, recorded, and mixed every part all on her own, as if you needed more reason to be impressed.
The EP is both a masterclass in brevity as well as creativity, as every vignette finds that delicate balance between having a signature Luna Li-type sound while still offering their own unique take on an idea that only needs a minute or so to be fleshed out to its fullest extent. Each song has its own perks and personality, making the textured 10-track, 10-minute EP sound moreso like a fully-fledged album. And at the same time, it’s just brief enough to listen to over and over without overwhelming us. It’s an extraordinary balance, and an impressive addition to the young artist’s already-impressive repertoire.
Given that it’s only a collection of jams made here and there throughout quarantine, the EP doesn’t have an overarching beginning, middle, or end that’s typical of most projects–though it definitely doesn’t need one. The tracks can be played in any order and they wouldn’t lose any of their independent charm. Each one is full, original, and refreshing, perfect for leaving on loop for a meditative experience, or grooving along to while experiencing the magical creation of Luna Li’s fantastical, iridescent world.
jams EP is a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. It’s a blessing for both longtime listeners who waited all this time for an official release, and new listeners who need a quick crash course on the alluring sounds of Luna Li. So give it a listen, and give her a follow on Instagram, because more magical jams are sure to come.
Jacob Ugalde is a writer, musician, and pasta enthusiast based in Los Angeles, California. A jack-of-all-trades kind of type, Jacob works in many different fields, from computer programming, to visual design, to film production, to music making, to whatever else he can get his hands on. His favorite musicians are Phoebe Bridgers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Vulfpeck, Luna Li, and Louie Zong, and his favorite video game is The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. He thanks you for reading this all the way to the end!