I’ve been looking forward to new music from UMI since first hearing “High School” at the top of 2019 and the dazzling songstress does not disappoint with her latest sonic offering. In fact, UMI does the complete opposite of disappoint, gracing fans with an engaging 2-track EP, accompanied by a visual for each song. Dancing wondrously upon the juxtaposing production of the two records, UMI pieces together delightful commentary on love, longing, attraction and attachment. Coupling a uniquely pop-infused, neo-soul sound with her innately fun, attractive energy, the music becomes at once light-hearted yet wildly impassioned. In a vein similar to “High School,” Balance radiates in its relatability, thanks in no small part to the ease one finds in connecting to UMI’s emotion and words.
“Ordinary” channels the 80s, both in sound and style, calling upon a sonic and visual aesthetic that very well may be unbeknownst to UMI’s audience. It certainly calls to attention the growing distance between the ages – viewers might recognize the style, but it’s unlikely it will bring forth nostalgic memories. Either way, there is a keen synchronicity between “Ordinary” and the Reggie + Eddie Mandell-directed music video that comes along with it – it screams 80s, but in such a well put together fashion, never once feeling corny or cliche. This, no doubt, is a testament to UMI and the team around her, all of whom piece together a captivating artistic direction. The track celebrates the purity of raw connections, built upon real feelings and emotion rather than material and superficial illusions. “Ordinary” is a vibey bop of a song, brought to life by UMI’s vibrant delivery as she bounces upon Cooper Holzman’s popping synths.
With “Down to Earth,” UMI flips the vibes completely, highlighting the range of energy she’s bringing to the table. Featuring subdued, contemplative and atmospheric production that comes courtesy of Jhune, UMI fills the sonic landscape with emotive and passionate vocals. An ode to love, connection and attachment, “Down to Earth” could just as easily become an anthem for self-love as it could be used to revel in the limitless force that is love for another individual. The beautiful thing about love – real, unconditional love – is it knows no boundaries and no borders; it truly is limitless in its reach. This is exemplified through the various clips featured in the Reggie-directed visual, as UMI’s friends are captured on film exhibiting their love for one another. The timelessness of love shines through, thanks to the vintage feel of “Down to Earth.”
Balance is available now on all major streaming platforms.
Preview the EP below.