It’s interesting to discover how the website is shared through social media, but it’s awesome that it leads to more opportunities to listen to new artists. JIEON is an artist on UNUSUAL SOUND using electronic foundations to create melodic and minimalist tracks. WWW is a compelling start to her discography.
When an album has an intro, I think that’s a sign that the album is meant to be listened in the order given rather than singles. But I also think that “Intro” doesn’t really add much to the start of WWW. “Thanks to” starts with a repeating keyboard synth melody and ambient white noise with JIEON coming in very quickly. Her vocals are partially filtered and layered. Her vocal style remains in a comfortable place and as the song expands and opens with more instrumental layers, the main vocals stay clear and audible.
“Thanks to” doesn’t use a standard song structure and moves throughout each verse with an adding and subtracting of melodies. It’s focused on the melody and laying the foundation of expectations for the album. “Sincerely” follows a similar style. The minimalist tones accompanying JIEON’s vocals are slightly warmer than on “Thanks to.” One thing I noticed is that JIEON doesn’t use a lot of standard percussion beats or rhythms.
They’re subdued and use more as accents rather than moving with the tempo. JIEON, herself, is the metronome and the rest of the song follows her. “Sincerely” is the first place that we get a hint of her vocal range as she moves a bit higher in octave. It’s not an outright blasting of power, but adds some variety.
“From What Disappeared” strays into indie pop. The song has a bit more energy and a wider soundscape. It also is the only track on WWW using recognizable drum samples. The intro to “From What Disappeared” sets itself up like another similar song to the ones before it, but once the song opens up, it’s the best view of JIEON’s vocals. I think she’d be able to easily live within ballad or indie pop territory so her careful use of vocals in other songs in interesting. If there was a single, “From What Disappeared” would have the widest net.
“Planet” moves into different territory. The ominous bass tones mixed with the other elements and sample make the track slightly uneasy. JIEON still moves over the instrumentals with ease. The instrumentals builds throughout the track and gets slightly closer to electronic pop and experimental territory.
With the last songs on WWW, JIEON brings everything together. “Straightforward” combines elements found on other songs and offers something different yet familiar. For electronic music fans, “Straightforward” will be the song that gets your attention. Closing WWW, “Oct 31” is a somber piano-driven track. There’s a different emotional weight to the track as JIEON barely moves around the octave. “Oct 31” uses sparse accompanying electronic samples that expand on the audio without distracting. “Oct 31” is my favorite track though I don’t think JIEON should focus on this style.
WWW is a very focused debut album. The two shorter tracks, “Intro” and “admission,” pull focus from the other six songs, but overall the album presents a unique musician perspective. JIEON could explore many electronic music styles and I’m sure that most of them would be successful.