I admit that a lot of the time, if I don’t know an musician, the album art is the first thing that I look at. This was the case with Saebyeok‘s Rise from the ashes. The five song EP was another discovery on bandcamp. With tags like “electronic, electro, pop, trip hop” I figured that I should listen.
“Without u” is the first track, starts with a piano introduction, and is quickly joined by Saebyeok’s voice. It’s a song that has a lot of space, meaning it’s not absolutely about the music that’s being played, but the time in between beats. As the first song, it does make you curious what type of music she will perform. It’s a bit of a down tempo feel, with her vocals sitting slightly behind the instrumentals while mixing together.
“Save me” takes a different approach by introduction keyboard in the beginning to create the first tones and on the song, Saebyeok sings in English. The song starts off simple, but adds programmed percussion along with sound samples. It’s a very emotionally charged song with the repeating verse, “How can I set me free” to “How can I set you free.” Her voice has effects applied to it, but the melody comes across really well. The song starts increasing the intensity in the bridge towards the end of the song while still maintaining the same tempo.
The third song, “Sea of June” is a little bit brighter even though it still uses the same style of samples and programming. I think it’s all due to Saebyeok’s voice on the song which follows the tempo and hits lyrics either on beat or in double time. It’s strange how the core of the songs is the same, but changes due to her vocals.
This continues again on “Little More.” A repeating siren sample rings in the background for the majority of the first verse, but overall the song is more melodic than previous tracks. The variety of programming and samples makes Rise from the ashes very interesting. It’s also dense and even with only five songs, will require multiple repeats to hear everything.
I don’t know anything about Saebyeok, but I do enjoy Rise from the ashes a lot. The last song, “Shine,” is a piano and vocal track and showcases that her songwriting compelling regardless of which instruments she uses. It will be interesting to learn more about her and how she came to make the EP.