Straddling the blurry line between dream pop and DIY house, the Korean-American’s first full-length effort is a diaristic work of startling emotional clarity
Korean-American DJ and producer Yaeji – full name Kathy Yaeji Lee – is the queen of introverted club music. She broke through with her squelchy house track Raingurl in 2017, contrasting a bold bassline with deadpan vocals about her glasses fogging up in the club. On her new mixtape, her first release for XL Recordings, Lee digs even further into her interior landscape, with diaristic, spacious house music on which she sings about subjects like the difficulty of getting out of bed (on the glimmering lead single Waking Up Down). As we enter a nightclub-less era of isolation, she’s timed it eerily well: this is dance music to soundtrack – and soothe – an existential crisis.