Friday, October 20th, 2017

Yaeji – Drink I’m Sippin’ On

We are soooo chillllll right nooow…


Crystal Leww: Yaeji is one of dance music’s fast rising stars, making songs that sound more suitable for the Uber ride comedown than the actual club. “Drink I’m Sippin’ On” is all about atmospherics — fleeting, floating, grooving — a little like the 3am trek home from the club in Brooklyn. I did one of those recently from a Yaeji show, and this is pretty much how it felt like.

Eleanor Graham: Takes the easy route to hypnotic with faded-neon synth pads and a treacle-paced trap beat, the pre-chorus slipping into Kendrick-style robotised tipsiness. This should be laidback but it isn’t, something about it is uneasy like a flickering strip light. When she sings “I feel so fine”, it sounds like a question.

Micha Cavaseno: One day, we will all get the proactively ideal Nav-level of effortlessness that we want to subject to ourselves to in order to convey our best versions of sleepy-eyed background ambiance that can occasionally reflect song structure. Today, we have Yaeji, who’s happy to be the half-imagined song of your dreams if you’re looking for her.

Ryo Miyauchi: Yaeji channeled navel-gazing New York hip-house to come into her own, and here, the drums kick a more chest-puffing rhythm, her monotone voice more sure where to hit. She recites lyrics like she’s whispering reminders to herself, so it feels especially right the lyrics for “Drink I’m Sippin’ On” is a mantra to build up self-confidence. Her swagger is a mask, a make-up of alcohol and mannerisms picked up from the movies, but believing in yourself sometimes takes a little bit of self-delusion.

Julian Axelrod: Yaeji weaves a hypnotic stream of mantras and affirmations into a woozy, intoxicating Mobius strip. This feels like a photo negative of “Cranes in the Sky” in both sound and temperament. Our heroine drinks to forget her shitty week, and to steel herself for the shitty weeks to come. But even as darkness lurks at the edges of her vision, she’s found the one thing that makes her feel confident, powerful, alive. And right now, for one beautiful moment, nothing else matters.

Alfred Soto: Atmospherics it’s got, like fog in a Warner Bros film from 1941. But Yaeji made the outro the most fascinating section: somebody tinkling a piano’s major chords over a hip hop beat. I’ve got a gruesome habit of wanting movies and music to play like I imagine them to.

Ashley John: Yaeji has a patience I’ve never heard before, and it permeates the song in a hypnotic way. “Drink I’m Sippin’ On” is a tranquilizer that numbs me so that my brain only thumps with its beat. Yaeji stretches out a moment into a strand of silk and let’s us marvel. 

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Yaeji’s self-titled EP piqued my interest, its talk-singing and late night house music bringing to mind Nina Kraviz and Galcher Lustwerk. “Drink I’m Sippin’ On” is cut from a similar cloth but she throws in more overt hip-hop elements, causing her voice to take on a more pronounced role. The result is something more self-conscious and less relaxing. It’s intentional, yes, but I’m forced to evaluate the role of her vocalizing and my impression is that it’s both forced and tedious. Atmospherics aren’t always enough.

Anjy Ou: A lot of the time, what I get out of a song is very different from what the artist put into it. After reading Yaeji’s annotations of “Drink I’m Sippin’ On” on Genius, that definitely seems to be the case here. But I’m going to say what I think anyway. Because that’s what I’m here for, obviously, but also because I feel like this song creates space for multiple, potentially opposing interpretations – probably because of the double-sided lyrics. Yaeji’s laid-back refrain “그게아니야” (“that’s not it”) doesn’t feel like a harsh correction. It sounds more like a simple statement of fact: what I’m feeling, or what I’m doing or thinking, isn’t what you think it is. But that’s okay, we can still vibe out. Or not, I don’t care. The song feels confident and carefree and I absorb that IDGAF attitude the more I listen to it. And eventually I don’t care as much that I don’t “get” the song. Two ideas may not mirror each other, but they can share a drink, dance around each other and maybe even milly rock a little bit. As long as everyone feels fine, we’re good. Maybe that’s entirely the point.

Reader average: [6.14] (7 votes)

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One Response to “Yaeji – Drink I’m Sippin’ On”

  1. deserved better. def one of the best “pop” songs of the year.