REI AMI - RUNAWAY

3/2/20
Rei Ami - Runaway

Seoul, South Korea-by-way-of-Maryland's Rei Ami gets dark, demented on "Runaway"!

Rei Ami's music has always been about dualities. Her production name is a nod to two different Sailor Moon characters, Sailor Mars (Rei) and Sailor Mercury (Ami). This alone suggests that the Seoul-born, Maryland-based bedroom pop producer is explosive and hot-tempered, on one hand, and introspective and studious on the other. Her music - given its own genre on social media, #reipop - inhabits a similar dichotomy. On one hand, it's removed, distant, as can be heard on last year's "Dictator," with its laid back, chilled-out swaying guitar licks. Even that song, for all of its sweetness, owns up to this range, going from "the baddest b*tch" to "the saddest b*tch" in the span of just three minutes.

On "Runaway," there's less of this cognitive dissonance, as Rei Ami leans into the aggression and madness. For all of the darkness, it's still a wild romp and fun ride, even if it is through the darkside.

 

REI AMI - RUNAWAY

"Runaway" starts off with a depth charge beat, ominous and plodding as the monsters in Stephen King's The Mist. Rei Ami doesn't default to some faux-horrorcore vocal style, thank the dark Gods, instead favoring a demented little girl voice, made even more twisted with some children's birthday party recordings. It's like some twisted little girl's birthday party, where they descend upon a pinata like the Bacchae and rip it apart with their taloned fingers.

"Runaway" is going to be a sight for sore ears for those wishing Grimes' Miss Anthropocene had fulfilled its apocalyptic art angel prophecies; for those who miss the true eccentricity of early Poppy; for those who dug Birds Of Prey but wished it would've portrayed Harley Quinn's deranged violence a bit more. We Are: The Guard are stoked about it! Here's to more darkside Pop, please! 

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J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.