A brief introduction to trip-hop/lo-fi by Joji | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 01, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 01, 2018

A brief introduction to trip-hop/lo-fi by Joji

Frankly speaking, I wasn't familiar with the notorious Filthy Frank and his array of personality disorders until I listened to this EP after a friend suggested it. So my judgment was not clouded by the insane fandom of his comedic career. Which I think is great because this EP deserves a complete focus on the new and very fresh artist Joji.

I'll start with the name of the EP, In Tounges. Let's take a moment to appreciate the name of this album because of how well it represented the sound of the six song tracklist. The record explores the artist's emotional journey of heartbreak and the repercussions of that. The lo-fi sounds beckon artists like Jinsang with a mix of dream-pop sounds, perfectly complementing his hip-hop take on this foundation. The airy sounds and the reverb and slowed down clanking of chains add a melancholic nocturnal atmosphere that gives life to the songs. And while I do think his vocal styles fit the songs well enough, I would expect more diversity in his future projects in that aspect because it can get slightly monotonous.

So let's get into this each track at a time:


The first song in the list shoves you into tender arms of sadness as it opens with a beautiful piano melody and kicks into a heavy bass and siren like vocals. While the song has great lyrics, the real story telling comes from the sound. I think it's still my favorite song from the record. The changes in melodies from verse to pre-chorus to chorus are the strength of this track. The synth beats accommodates for the heavy bass and overall, elements of the song are brought together in perfect harmony.


the dreamy track has so many things going on in it, I couldn't help but feel impressed for how beautifully he structured the whole thing. The echoing guitar is one of the many highlights in this song but it's what carries the song to its glory. The song is sad yes, but it's also sad in a hopeful way like something good may come out of this sorrow. The melody is beautiful and the vocals fit right in like an organ in the body of the song.


Okay, I love the backing vocals in this song. And the clanking sound of the chain was edited to make this song rather interesting. Chains and piano and a thick voice rapping a couple of words here and there, it felt like some kind of strange poetry. But it has fewer elements to comment on, and this is the song from which the EP starts to get slightly repetitive.


When I hear this song I can't help recall Jinsang. The melody is great so are the synths and the piano, it's all great. It's beautiful on its own. But it's nothing new after you've listened to the first three songs. It sounded as though the most significant change he brought to this song was the lowered pitch of his voice and it didn't particularly help the song. It's a little more optimistic than the other songs but it doesn't add anything new to the table on terms of composition.


Another nice track but easily the weakest in the record. This is the part where it feels like Joji just wanted to somehow finish the album. The song is carried by the more natural sounding bass and its more raw than the previous tracks.  This track does not have the soft piano work and the vocals just sound half-done. So there is nothing I found strikingly impressive here.


I like ukuleles, I like how they sound. I know Pink Guy is a big fan of this instrument and Joji made a simple and yet great ode to this beloved instrument. The song isn't complex, but the mixing and the beats are beautiful in this 2 minute track. It wrapped up the record quite adequately for me.

Whether or not you're a fan of Filthy Frank, this EP deserves your attention and its perfect if you want to send someone a song after midnight.


Mohua Mouli likes cats and all things art. She also thinks she is good at some types of art. To confront her about her claims, write her at mohua210@gmail.com

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