The previous yr has left many in a reflective frame of mind; some, maybe, questioning their very own mortality for the primary time. That actually appears to have been true for 박혜진 Park Hye Jin, whose long-awaited debut album muses on the elements of life she actually values. Like many, she spent a lot of this era alone, with out household and a scarcity of bodily intimacy. The LA-based, producer, rapper and singer’s 2020 ‘How Can I’ EP chronicled the highs and lows of life on the highway; the 15 tracks that kind ‘Before I Die’ are set inside a world that’s come to a screeching halt
This era – which follows collaborations with Blood Orange, Clams Casino and Nosaj Thing – implies that her club-ready sound is a contact extra contemplative. She fuses home, techno, lure and flits between rapping in each English and Korean, her lyrical supply is deadpan and nonchalant, providing an unfiltered stream of consciousness.
The center-aching pleas of ‘I Need You’ and the mournful ambiance of the title monitor – the place she emotively sing-raps about lacking her family members – reveal a beforehand unshared intimacy and vulnerability in her writing; it appears like we’re thumbing by way of the pages of a tear-stained diary. The sorrow is sometimes changed with pent-up frustration and longing with lurid moments: the insistent ‘Can I Get Your Number’ and forthright ‘Sex With Me (DEFG)’ indulge these fantasies, but it surely’s executed with a extra subtlety on on grooving spotlight ‘Let’s Sing Let’s Dance’.
That extroverted nature has to battle with the interior ideas plaguing Hye Jin. She will get misplaced within the fug of her personal ideas on the hazy interlude-length ‘Me Trust Me’, and the purposefully repetitive ‘Where Are You Think’ spiral meanderingly. ‘Never Die’, in the meantime, finds Hye Jin pondering her existence over a disparate soundscape of rumbling techno thumps, stirring piano keys and light-weight cymbal faucets. Even by way of the spritely ‘Hey, Hey, Hey’, a heads-down pummeler primed for darkish warehouses, and trap-heavy nearer ‘i jus wanna be happy’ ends the album on an optimistic word, a mournfulness persists.
By balancing these moments of soppy introspection with more durable uninhibited hedonism – typically in the identical monitor – 박혜진 Park Hye Jin has crafted an affecting multi-layered debut that, slightly than reaching a conclusion of fulfilment, manages to seek out happiness in simply being alive.
- Launch date: September 10
- Document label: Ninja Tune
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