“AirDrop” was the first officially released collaboration single between Cat Psalm, Universe Mongae, and UZA. The 2020 single was a slow hip-hop and electronic hybrid that highlighted each artist while combining their styles into something new. They collaborated again in 2021 on “ETERNAL” and in 2023 on “AXEL” before dropping MEOW!, a five-song EP that includes those two tracks.
MEOW! gets right to the point with “ME.” The difference between “AirDrop” and “ME” is a quicker distribution of verses. Cat Psalm lives in a hip-hop verse with Universe Mongae adding more melodies. UZA is the path between the two other artists with slightly more robotic and monotone (though very filtered and effects-driven) vocals. “Me” is a collision of electronic, synth, hip-hop, and pop, all presented in two minutes and 18 seconds.
A remastered version of “AXEL” arrives next with a slower tempo. There’s a lot of manipulation of vocals, melodies, and beats. “AXEL” could be based in Universe Mongae’s audio world. I like that the trio is willing to go beyond their respective styles to create something new. UZA’s normally melodic vocals are used more to support Universe Mongae’s main vocals but add a different melodic angle. Cat Psalm feels like the director with the instrumentals.
“DO IT RIGHT” sounds outside the box for all three artists. It has a base in hip-hop but also includes trap elements and electronic noise beats that aren’t commonly put together. The track sounds like a dark club track where you don’t know what and where you should be doing. “DO IT RIGHT” has an unsettling presentation that also helps it be even more addictive.
If you wanted a song that’s aligned with UZA’s and Universe Mongae’s standard styles, “PLACEBO” has the largest recognizable pieces. UZA’s opening has verses that I feel like I’ve heard before but I can’t place where I’ve heard them before. But it also allows UZA to perform openly even though her vocals are still filtered with effects. Cat Psalm seems to live through vocal filters a lot more and bridges between UZA and Universe Mongae. I wonder why Universe Mongae sings without a lot of filters compared to UZA though.
The last track on MEOW! is a remaster of “ETERNAL.” The song is different from every other song on the EP because it leans towards a brighter electronic pop style. The instrumentals even have a brighter presentation. UZA and Universe Mongae sound cleaner without being surrounded by the instrumentals. Cat Psalm’s appearance even sounds like fewer effects were added to his parts. “ETERNAL” is a great example of the versatility of each artist and how their collaboration can work so well.
Cat Psalm, Universe Mongae, and UZA all have unique and distinct styles with small amounts of overlap. After “AirDrop,” it was obvious that the trio could create great music together, and MEOW! proves it. But the EP isn’t for everyone and it might take a couple of rotations to really get submerged into the world that the three are working to create.
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