From Ohyoung‘s first song on IRREVERSIBLE, he sets up an expectation of a melancholy EP. What’s interesting is that he’s a prolific artists releasing multiple singles and EPS since 2018. I found IRREVERSIBLE back when it was released, but it didn’t stick in my head at the time. Coming back in 2023, the album feels more appropriate.
“Hypothermia” is a minimal guitar and piano track that focuses your attention on the vocals. Ohyoung sits in a very comfortable range, allowing the instrumentals to provide most of the attraction. To start the EP, it throws you off guard because “Stranger” is a heavier song.
Adding percussion, added effects on the vocals and guitar, and overall giving “Stranger” a sustained echo, the song borders on a shoegaze-style indie rock song. Ohyoung seems to enjoy slow methodical tempos that really let him feel comfortable and also allow the listener to understand every lyric.
Ohyoung circles around a certain tone on the entire EP. That doesn’t mean the songs get repetitive, but there is a bleed when tracks focus on a guitar and vocal feature. Adding keyboards sounds like a regular technique and it gets a little hard to know what song you’re listening to.
Also, I wonder if Ohyoung is recording and producing at home. There’s a lack of polish at points and sounds like he’s recording with a variety of tools. It gives IRREVERSIBLE an uneven presentation. Since he recorded, mixed, and mastered the EP himself, I wonder what might have resulted if he handed off some of the production to another person.
Overall, IRREVERSIBLE is an interesting experience. With the album sitting in the middle of his releases, I’m curious about the growth from his 2018 start to the latest EP from 2021. If you want some melancholy music, Ohyoung has you covered.