Yung Mogwaii aims high with his take on emo-rap, fusing the genres emotively but also in a notably crisp and clean manner. The overall sound presented on Starstruck is of an extremely high quality – the production is flawless, and the vocal is laid almost bare among this. There’s an immediate connection to the voice and to the lyrics because of this realness; this accessible, intimate tone. With releases from his peers, from similar minded artists such as the late Lil Peep, there’s been a tendency to lean into the multi-vocal effects and the reverb; electronica overtakes natural artistry and passion in many cases. It’s a popular sound of course, but in this case you still get that calming, entrancing escapism, and you also get to feel an authentic shared understanding with the man behind the music – an essence of pure performance and songwriting – and that makes it all the more valuable for the listener.
Starstruck is an emotionally poignant and honest song that offers a mellow groove and a few simple layers of soulful openness that captivate and compel. Coming in at less than three minutes, you actually miss this one when it falls away; the silence is strangely intense. The musicality is beautiful – those opening bars of music set the scene gorgeously. Then you get the vocal, and the subtle beat – everything is delicately presented, everything is smooth yet heartfelt and easy to make your own. As is the calling card of a well written song – one that comes from a clearly intimate place but is made accessible and ready for anyone and everyone to seek peacefulness in.
Making sure to present eclecticism early on within his catalogue, Yung Mogwaii presents a fairly different sound and style with his single Misery. From the offset this acoustic guitar ambiance emerges – as crisp and musically satisfying as ever. What follows has a hint of familiarity, but the vocal is less up-front – it’s placed more secretively in the backdrop. The pace is also quicker here, the song feels more lyrically dense and seems to repeat certain ideas and certain moments of rhythm in a hypnotic way. This act of vocal outpouring contrasts with the softness of the music, and at merely a minute and a half in length – the whole thing kicks in and is over before you really get to feel its full embrace. It’s another calming track and fortunately one that’s blissfully easy to let play on repeat until you’re fully familiar with the whole flow and aura of it.
Offering another short burst of emotion and musical prowess, Crying in My Droptop is one of the artist’s more heavy or harder hitting releases. Still the ambiance has those layers of gentleness, the beat’s a little thicker though – the vocal too appears with more weight; soaked in familiar effects, quicker, and perhaps delivered with a little more urgency.
Again, the feel of the track is different to everything that came before, but by now there are some definite threads that make up the Yung Mogwaii approach to creativity. One of the most striking of these is that inherent desire to express inner emotions and reflections on life and relationships.
There’s no set style to any of these tracks, though there is a similar vibe throughout them – this suggests an air of creative freedom that’s likely to keep an audience interested in the long run. I’ve been tempted on all three occasions to quote the track as a personal favourite, but really – they each offer something quite special in their own way. It will be interesting to hear where the artist takes things as 2019 kicks into gear.