Hell has frozen over, Sputnikmusic has acknowledged singles as a legitimate artform, and Yeule has dropped a song we can dance to. From the comfort of our bedrooms. With or more likely without company. Under whatever concentration of serotonin. All. the. time.
Backed with a jungle beat courtesy of Danny L Harle, “Too Dead Inside” is as close as we’ve heard from Yeule to an upbeat pop song. The comatose dream pop they perfected on 2019’s Serotonin II is vaguely residual here, but it upends that album’s dissociated reverie into a more driving self-confrontation. Shock horror, it’s a dark one: too dead inside is less about getting lost in an apathetic wallow than scrutinising the root of that feeling as a coping mechanism for trauma.
Yeule’s vocals, typically indicative of some kind of digital ghost, take on a more urgent whisper-rap style throughout the verses, but they revert to a more familiar style as they hang every line in the chorus off the end of the one before. It’s like a waterpixelfall of uncertainty, and Yeule’s knack for keeping this kind of fragmentary delivery on personal footing is masterful. They also go above and beyond the call of duty by throwing in a surprise one-off prechorus before the second chorus that just so happens to contain the track’s most critical lyric (It’s not so hollow, I’m chasing […] my own shadow) and its best melody. Digression: count the number of pop-affiliates you’ve heard in the last five years who’ve done anything more with the space after their first chorus than copy/paste the same arrangement over different lyrics and race straight through to the second. Yeule innovates with structure as well as form. This is very dope.
And every other single from their new album Glitch Princess (out Feb 4th)? Straight fire, of various fuels and intensities. It’s a joy to hear Yeule covering so much new territory in the run-up to the album, let alone at this quality. Serotonin II was a high-water mark for ‘10s dream pop as a whole, but it largely concerned itself with mastering a single sound; this cycle has already seen them taking risk after risk, but every palette they turn to suits them impeccably well. Gawd, can they do no wrong?
“Too Dead Inside” might actually be my least favourite single of the lot, and the thought of a record where this could conceivably end up as one of the weakest tracks makes me want to dust off the 5 button for the first time in years. Holler holler hype.
Sputnik Singles Chart: