Ejae appeared through YouTube videos and different Spotify playlists over the past few months and I finally took a closer look with her recently released EP, Now Trash. Classified as indie rock, Ejae’s EP is a collection of eclectic tracks. It reminds me a little bit of Ee and indie rock from 2005. The EP is an enjoyable listen, especially for listeners who want something based in rock but different.
Now Trash starts with “My God Loves Slippers” featuring Kreixkim. It’s position as the lead track is subterfuge. The mellow melodies from the instrumentals welcome you quickly with Ejae’s vocals carrying a pleasant tone. She’s not stressing on the beat and the three minute run time moves quickly. Kreixkim’s involvement is secondary vocals that make a presence halfway before dissipating.
“In The Arms of Love” is pure 2005 indie rock. The minimalist instrumentation is lead by the bass guitar and the drum loop adds the foundation. At the chorus, Ejae adds more flourish with a different drum loop and a little more synth. Like “My God Loves Slippers,” there’s a relative calm throughout the entire track.
There’s not a lot of lead guitar on Ejae’s songs with the bass serving as the main melody. “Ms. Park” follows the structure of “In The Arms of Love” with bass, drum loop, and Ejae. I don’t know why but “Ms. Park” is my favorite song on Now Trash. It doesn’t do anything drastically different from the previous songs, but this is the track that I kept coming back to.
The first song that I really hear lead guitar is “Asphalt.” It uses a more common rock structure with guitar and bass working in tandem. The drums continues to be a programmed loop which doesn’t take away, but it would be interesting to hear live drums instead.
“What” is an entirely different experience with a slower tempo, almost swaying rhythm, and a stronger push of synth in front of the guitar and bass. It shows that Ejae and her producer, Hukky Shibaseki, aren’t just copy and pasting every song.
Ejae mixes genres a bit on “Joy8” using a pulsing club drum loop. “Joy8” dives into using a lot of effects especially on the vocals. The song is almost like a break between her other songs and sticks out as an outlier. “Joy8” is interesting because it grabs a lot of genre staples and adds them into her audio universe.
Closing Now Trash, Ejae revisits her earlier arrangements while mixing in more percussion experimentation. There are a lot of cymbal samples used in the song. The heavier use of synth is more pronounced towards the end when the song fades out.
Ejae definitely has a signature in her music, but it’s also free enough that she’s able to mix and mold other elements organically. Now Trash is slightly uneven, but contains an experimental cohesiveness through the common use of bass and synth. The EP is fun to hear and a style of music that needs more artists to join.