I always check Korean Indie‘s Instagram follows because sometimes an artist follows the account. I don’t know how I would have found AERI otherwise. I went through her links and found her Spotify page and gave her self-titled EP a listen. AERI is interesting to me because she is inspired by Phoebe Bridgers, Frank Ocean, and Nao. Of the three, I’ve only heard Phoebe Bridgers, but AERI’s own music is definitely a mix of genres.
“What If” is a simple introduction. The instrumentals lay a clear and basic foundation that helps lift AERI’s vocals. Her lower pitch has a lot of depth and presents a noticeable weight. She’s capable of using higher octaves and AERI knows her range and its effectiveness. A majority of the EPs songs live inside an R&B-esque instrumental world mixed with some indie rock elements.
AERI has a similar stage to Jen Rim, taking a wide range of genres and building her own style. “River” and “Horizon” live in similar worlds. “Agave” carries a Latin influence, mainly heard through some of the guitar riffs, but the general rhythms mix the R&B and Latin moments together. It’s composed really well and I think a strong single.
“Rather Be” featuring Decora is a bit of the standard indie R&B pop track that a lot of artists compose. It’s a strong song, but I’ve heard this composition before and it doesn’t hit as strong as other songs. “Schönsten” shows AERI’s acoustic side. As the EP closer, it gives the best internal presentation of her core. I would be interested in hearing more songs like this, mainly to hear more of the emotional weight of her vocals that aren’t surrounded by heavy instrumentals.
AERI accomplishes a lot on her first EP. This introduction captures her potential perfectly. The indie R&B side to her music is great, but at the same time, it’s generally a safe space to play in. I’m curious to see what her next longer release will show because it’s open-ended right now.