meenoi first appeared through a Spotify Fans Also Like and then a music video by 8BallTown. Rekstizzy brought her back to my attention through a Twitter DM and I went back to her music and her EP DA DA!. I don’t know if I’d consider meenoi as R&B or something between indie pop and jazz-hop. DA DA! is heavy on grooves, low key melodies, and timeless pop elements.
“busy guy” is hip-hop-lite style. She’s partially singing and partially presenting spoken word over a minimal piano and percussion sample. It’s got a definite groove that sits heavy and guides the majority of the song. “busy guy” sounds like the instrumental existed before the track and meenoi is flowing over the rhythms to match. It’s a fun track and introduces meenoi’s general style perfectly.
Following “busy guy,” “sunbeam” is indie pop. The keyboard synth and simple drum beat is paired with meenoi’s singing. It’s got that summer jam feel and the English vocals help provide the light of the track. meenoi’s vocals are high, but they sound comfortable for her. She’s not straining to hit any notes and it really sounds like she had fun recording the song. As a previously released single, I think “sunbeam” is one of the strongest tracks on the EP.
“DA DA!” is back to hip-hop-lite or maybe “aegyo-R&B” is a comparable impression. The instrumental is simple and meenoi is the center of the track with her specific vocals. She’s moving between a specific rhythm to present the lyrics and then moving into a sing-song style for other verses. pH-1‘s feature works though he’s definitely manipulating the time signature with his delivery much more.
The music gets a little more complex on “see you” with a different keyboard preset and a more synthetic percussion sample kit. But “see you” fills in the spaces more efficiently than previous songs. There’s less blank audio space in the instrumentals and meenoi is focused on the track. “soft fur” to close DA DA! builds from “see you” to be more R&B than anything else.
The track order makes it feel like you’ve experienced the growth of an artist from meenoi’s first track to her most recent work. “soft fur” is the most recognizable R&B track because it contains a deeper melody, wider audio spectrum, and the best performance by meenoi. SFC.JGR’s mid-song feature is good, but doesn’t add too much to the track overall.
After watching meenoi’s music videos, I get the feeling that either she’s acting awkward or she was partially dropped into being an artist. There’s a level of polish in the simplicity of her earlier EP songs, but it also appears that she’s still getting comfortable being visible instead of behind her songs. With her first release in July 2019 and her this EP in September 2020, she has all the time and opportunity to explore and experiment with her music.