Hunjiya is an artist that grows and evolves with each release. Look After August is a strong full length debut and showed an exceptional progression from Lineage. Following previously released singles as indigoworld, her collaboration with Justin Trout; FOLD is a four-track EP showcasing her collaboration skills.
I recall reading that the songs on FOLD were recorded and worked on for some time and it’s possible that some of these tracks were recorded before Look After August. At least, some of the vocals sound like they were recorded between Lineage and Look After August. But that could be from the different vocal effects that are applied to Hunjiya’s vocals.
“overturned” sounds like something you might hear on a Joji album. But the most noticeable thing is that Hunjiya’s vocals either have an effect applied or they were recorded a long time ago because they don’t carry the same weight as her recent music. To start FOLD, “overturned” is a mellow and sultry earworm. It works slowly over the verse and shows off a complex arrangement.
The best part of this collaboration is that it’s highlighting Hunjiya’s vocals in a different way with its application the production. The music is a mixture of pop, electronic, and kind of alternative pop that layers and applies to each moment. The expected bloat from all the audio effects and layers never happens and presents the best pieces of both artists.
Hunjiya is a pathfinder on these songs rather than the director. You’re following her journey through these audio landscapes that are masterfully crafted. “deadinthewater” is an easy song to follow, but it takes a lot of tangents throughout the core melodies. It’s a dense track that promotes the main melody, but also creates a large infrastructure underneath.
“hourglass” is an R&B-fronted track and the audio really makes me think the vocals were recorded before Look After August because the tone and power feels like it is in transition. Look After August’s vocals were powerful even in the most quiet moments and “hourglass” presents a couple steps before that.
I wonder if it’s the vocal effects, but there’s a level of strength that’s been muted from Hunjiya’s voice. I will say that “hourglass” might be the weakest among the track because it takes the least amount of chances compared to the previous tracks. It’s a solid track, but really sits to set up “dontfeelbadforme.”
To close FOLD, “dontfeelbadforme” is a gut punch. It’s arrangement is so complex with the backing vocals and pulsing melody. This is the song that definitely is built around the vocals and feels the closest to Look After August. I think that it presents the most pure presentation of Hunjiya’s vocals even with the effects.
It’s also taking you along with this song narrative. It’s built on the vocals and the instrumentals are there to support and accent. “dontfeelbadforme” almost feels freeform rather than offering a recognizable verse-verse-chorus. It’s also the track that Hunjiya really lets loose.
FOLD is an intense collaboration. It’s not simply just using the strongest aspects of each artist, but challenging and crafting a new audio experience. Since I know Hunjiya far more than Justin Trout, I think that she was definitely challenged and went in a different direction from her own work.
It shows that a collaboration can really push the talents of each member rather than just have someone feature. FOLD is a great addition to her discography and it would be great to see more releases between the two and see how far they go.