Country : United States Label : XL Genres and styles : Dream Pop / Electronic / Hip Hop / Pop / Trap Year : 2020

What We Drew

· by Rupert Bottenberg

The title of Kathy Yaeji Lee’s debut album is noticeably in the plural. It’s inclusive of the assortment of pals who pitched in, and indicative of a sensibility that prioritizes togetherness, on taking part rather than standing apart. Ironic, then, that the Brooklyn-born and -based, Korean-American music-maker should unveil What We Drew just as the global stay-home moment starts to peak.

Or perhaps not. Delivered in a hushed near-whisper, like confidences murmured in a quiet corner, her lyrics reflect appreciatively on family, friendship, the intimate and the familiar. That closeness, however, is countered by the distance of the music, a muted mix of drowsy trap, couch-bound laptop diversions, and moody Asian girl-pop. It’s thick, hazy, and uniformly soft, with no sharp contrasts or hard edges, and not so much intangible as somehow just beyond reach.

Alternating between English and Korean (and a dash of Japanese – Tokyo impresaria and MC YonYon rattles off some elegant verses on “Spell”), What We Drew suggests an artist who is, among other things, well placed to capture the enormous Western K-pop crowd as they mature and seek out a more substantial next step.

Subscribe to our newsletter