The FADER’s “Songs You Need” are the tracks we can’t stop playing. Check back every day for new music and follow along on our Spotify playlist.
The title of Yaeji's debut album With A Hammer is an accurate one, but not for the reasons you may think. Rather than doubling down on the heart-quickening club glamour of tracks like "Raingurl" and her cover of Drake's "Passionfruit," the Korean-American artist feigns left and delivers a crushing haymaker of abstract electronic pop, deeply introspective while mindful of her roots.
Yaeji is in full command of her powers on "Passed Me By," the project's final pre-release single. Over yawning synths, she appraises her days like Goldilocks ("a little weak, a little strong") and reminds herself of her own internal strength ("I light a little fire/Anything that touches me will evaporate"). Then the groove kicks in, a placid thing that would sway a sea anemone back and forth and an ideal space for the sparse surrounding elements: here a burst of keys, there a creeping lead melody that hints at some unease. That's just for color, though — "Do you know that, that person is still/Inside of you waiting for you to notice?" Yaeji sings at the end, a declaration of self-assurance whispered so quietly that it feels like it could have come from our own brains.