Single Review: Joji - 'Yeah Right'

Melancholic, brooding and somber, Joji is painfully honest in newest single ‘Yeah Right’. The single sees Joji developing sounds he explored in his debut EP ‘In Tongues’, teasing listeners with what’s to come on his debut LP which is due for later this year.

Japanese electronic R&B artist Joji delves into deeply personal themes in his latest single ‘Yeah Right’. Written and produced entirely by Joji, the single sees Joji blending elements of trap, folk, electronic and R&B. On initial listen, ‘Yeah Right’ sounds like a party ballad, but upon closer listening, listeners are drawn into the swirl of emotions and self-loathing that underlies the song.

Beginning with poignant piano backing, Joji’s lush vocals soon envelopes the listener. Haunting, spellbinding and intensely intimate, muted samples and lo-fi electronics create a dreamy soundscape. The whole experience feels otherworldly, in it’s own dimension of sorrow and pathos. Joji’s simple yet effective vocal harmonies captivate the listener, and sultry drum beats further seduces the listener into this dreamy world that Joji has created within the track.

Stripping down all pretenses, this track is about as raw as it gets – beginning with ‘Imma fuck up my life’, the line is repeated throughout the track, really hammering the message of self-resentment. It’s a feeling of extreme hopelessness and loneliness, and Joji’s gentle yet forlorn vocals convert this into an immersive listening experience. Joji questions whether you can relate to his pain in the song by asking ‘What you know about love? What you know about life? What you know about blood?’. These accusatory questions expose an angrier side to the song, contrasted with the confessional ‘You bet I go to see you when I’m feeling like a drum without a beat’. The introspective lyrics really sink into the listener, and you can really feel yourself relating to all of the different emotions Joji sings about. Although quite mild and delicate, Joji’s vocals are able to dominate through the myriad of emotions that it conveys, and his velvety vocals are like honey to the ears.

There’s something about the way Joji is able to shape his dark brooding into a warm, relatable sound, and Joji’s ability to do this marks him as an artist to keep an eye out for.

Words by Athena Kam