min.a has long been a favorite artist of mine, carving out a space with her juxtaposition of glittery electronic music and often angsty lyrics. Her 2022 EP, i hope i get well soon, is no exception — but it is certainly a maturation of her sound and showcases some of her lesser-seen sides with city pop and ballad elements making their way into the mix.

min.a i hope i get well soon

The first track, “what do i do,” is a lament of envy. It pricks with anxious admiration and speaks of a desperate desire to be someone else. Laiko is a returning, but brief, feature (fans may recognize him from 2021’s “everyone is greedy“) whose vocals complement min.a’s well, low, and a little somber. It’s a track that I’m sure many people can relate to, full of the complex feelings you have towards someone you admire — you want to get closer to them, they draw you in, and yet you can’t help but feel jealous of their magnetism.

“What do I do?

I wanna be you.

Over and over

am I getting closer?”

“would u rather” has some unexpected city pop elements. min.a sings of regrets and hopes in a powerful blend, and her edited, fragmented vocals at the end give it an especially heartbreaking edge.

“If I say it loud enough

will I be better than I was?

Maybe you don’t feel it enough

but I hope you remember us.”

Pre-released earlier this year, “say you’ll be there” is composed mostly of rhythmic clicks and strings with a sharp and plucking sound. Despite the harsh, hard edges of the soundscape, min.a’s vocals and harmonies really shine in contrast here, soulful and smooth. There are some 90s RnB elements that get blended in with her usual dissonant synth and angsty lyrics, especially in her vocal performance but also within the instrumental as the track goes on.

“You’re falling apart all alone

you made me do it first.

Asking everyone I know

where do you get the nerve?”

One of the most unexpected tracks, “company” is ballad-adjacent and acoustic sounding, with just a piano to accompany min.a. To my surprise and delight, she actually did post a Korean ballad version on Instagram. The lyrics are similar in sentiment to the first track, but with no object of envy — just a desire to be somebody, to be understood, while always feeling like you’re stuck on the outside of any crowd.

“I wanna be somebody

but I am no one’s company.

Whoever I wanted to be

you just didn’t understand me.”

“headache” was another pre-released single that surprised me when it first came out. It’s a bit more upbeat in sound than usual; fast and maybe a little overwhelming like an argument that gives you a headache. The lyrics that become spliced and disjointed over time feed into the sense of chaos in the song, the feeling that you can’t say what you want to because you’re overwhelmed by someone else’s words.

“I’m just trying to

say something.”

The closer, “8bitcrush,” is cute-sounding. It’s a simple song about liking someone that doesn’t suit you but recognizing that they’re “not the one” anyways — it actually ends the EP on a more confident note than most of the other songs with its playful sound and sharp chorus.

“You’re not the one; you’re just an

8bit crush.”

Overall, i hope i get well soon is a fitting addition to min.a’s discography that also lets her push her boundaries. It is complex and lovingly crafted, with the same purposeful dissonance and raw lyrics that drew me to her music in the first place. Regardless of whether you’ve listened to her before or not, i hope i get well soon is well worth your attention.

https://open.spotify.com/album/0MXHDrsuqyn54TfoMLmQeu?si=lxVIeJu7SfeHIZtAAPYsaw

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aspiring museum professional, avid lover of music