Aseul‘s switch from YUKARI has been firmly cemented with multiple albums and singles. 2018’s ASOBI was Aseul’s last extended release with singles in 2019. Returning with Slow Dance, Aseul doesn’t sound dramatically different from her origins. But when I started listening to Slow Dance, I realized that there was a change in tone.
I always knew that Aseul had a specific tone and theme in her electronic pop music. While some might consider it too pop or too chillwave, her unique artist voice always kept me returning to her music. On Slow Dance, which is properly named, Aseul sounds much more confident. It’s not like her instrumentals or vocals are dramatic or aggressive, in fact, Aseul sounds like she’s sitting in a chair in her bedroom, drinking wine, and singing along like karaoke.
That’s what I get with Slow Dance – a confidence that was hinted at on earlier releases. “Dying Practice” as the start feels like she’s shedding winter weight and freeing herself for other songs on the album. It’s a relaxing lofi song. A casual walking tempo, highlighting high melodic vocals, and supported by dream-like instrumentals. The song’s fade out and transition into “Bye Bye Summer” shows the first change.
Stylistically, “Bye Bye Summer” has more audio movement. The repeating hi-hat sample adds a form to the song with the other melodic samples building a nice atmosphere before moving into the chorus. This is where I see Aseul being the most free in terms of any of her songs.
She continues the upbeat theme with “Paradise” along with showing her ability to create really dense, but clean instrumentals. I’m amazed how she’s able to layer so many samples, but still keeping a dominant melodic line and her vocals clear.
The eight songs (nine if you were able to get a cassette) are definite gems and listeners should listen to the album cohesively instead of looking for a single. Aseul even gives you a break on “Somewhere,” a mainly instrumental track that creates a dream-like beach through the audio.
An electronic genre fan should definitely give Slow Dance a listen and definitely listen to “Sunday Morning” featuring Universe Mongae. It’s always interesting to hear collaborations between artists and see how the color of songs change from different voices.
Aseul is one of my favorite electronic artists. Since her YUKARI days, I’ve been a fan and enjoy all her releases. As I grow older and my music tastes change, I continue to appreciate the lofi, bedroom electronic pop she creates.