tang.erine’s EP Late summer late night dips us into a glittery synth based world that, for all the shimmery sounds of the songs, still carries with it an undertone of sadness. As the days grow longer and hotter, the EP reminds me of staying up too late on a summer night getting caught up in my thoughts.
The first track of the EP is accurately named. The track is something that’s easy to dance to but then features vocals that are darker, sadder. It starts with bongos and percussion that bounces along, until a somber voice joins in.
tang.erine’s voice is a touch raspy but warm, with a dark, smooth color. In “Dancing with depression” he uses it to contrast with the jolly percussion in the track. In the chorus, he sings:
I have to dance
it’s heavy here
I have to dream to leave here
and then a soft, glowing synth reflects the slightly haunted sound of his voice.
Then we are off, as “City 1:00” starts with the sound of a motorcycle starting up. At 1 AM, perhaps the protagonist has finally decided to leave. As the mechanical sounds of the vehicle die down, soft synths reminiscent of the 80’s come in. While they are brighter than the sounds of “Dancing with depression” there’s still a touch of sadness, or perhaps longing in them.
The vocals start on a higher register and the melody moves more as well, reflecting the more hopeful nature of the song as tang.erine sings about leaving and wondering where he should go. The song ends somewhat abruptly, with a lingering, tentative synth note echoing to nothing.
“Bokgo” starts with a fluttering set of notes that remind one of a video game. The track continues at a steady pace, as if walking comfortably, and gets a change of pace with DAWN’s verse which is more wordy and rhythmic than tang.erine’s verse. The track then ends fading out with a loop of slightly blurry vocals.
If “Bokgo” was comfortably walking, then “Blue tint river” is walking with a pep in your step, heading to somewhere you want to be. The track is the happiest track on the EP, where the instrumental and vocals match in brightness. The verses from DAWN and eunyoung add further energy to the track and tang.erine’s vocals tie everything together nicely. After the previous tracks that were slowly reaching for something brighter, “Blue tint river” is a welcome song.
But it is not the last one.
Interestingly, tang.erine chose to end his EP with “City 1:00 Throttle version,” which is a longer instrumental of “City 1:00.” Perhaps he is trying to tell us that we have to keep moving. And yet, when the motorcycle dies down, although it’s the same instrumental, it seems brighter. Were the synths always this bright or is it just perspective? And it helps that the vocals aren’t there and we are coming off of the good vibes of “Blue city tint.”
And just like “City 1:00” the song ends with a synth note reaching out, fading away. But this time, it seems hopeful, reaching for something.
One benefit of ending with an instrumental like “City 1:00 Throttle Version” is that it lends itself to loop back to the beginning really well. But returning to “Dancing with depression” feels different this way. Is it happier? Was is actually always happy? Or maybe it’s supposed to be all a bit blurry but picturesque, just like a late summer night.