UMI Looks Inward with Confidence on ‘Introspection’
UMI explores her growing sense of self-awareness over buttery production in her latest project “Introspection.” After recently signing a deal with RCA, the Los Angeles-based songstress has released her label debut. The project is full of colorful portraits of the freedoms of being young. “Introspection” was paired as a release with an equally personal short film. The film and the EP converge on the universal traits of young love. UMI focuses her lens on relationships, both platonic and romantic. Throughout the EP, UMI explores deep into her empathetic nature in her day-to-day life. Through pop-infused R&B, she explores vignettes of being a young adult with confidence that’s both disarming and mature. The singer celebrates her flaws with a dynamic positivity that’s hard not to admire. She often writes from an almost third-person perspective but it never feels like we aren’t in UMI’s shoes.
Despite being only six tracks, UMI manages to seamlessly cut and paste a collage of curiosity and self-exploration in a short 15 mins. The title track slowly builds into what feels like one big exhale with a gorgeous symphony of layered vocals. The woozy instrumental crashes against the vocals like waves on a beach. On the fifth track, “Pretty Girl hi!” UMI calmly bellows over a simple lo-fi drum break which quickly evolves into a swirling melody that fills the ear. She sings in a rapid, breathless flow that creates a unique listening experience. Her songwriting is unique, embracing beautiful metaphors that conjure vivid images. The tracks on the project feel like a staircase into UMI’s mind, walking at a pace that allows the listener to observe her continuous movement forward.
In the final song, “Broken Bottle,” UMI dives into past hardships within a relationship. She sings, “I tried to give myself away/I did not get to say to you/that I have something to say/forgive your fumbling ways” expressing her ability to let go of conflict and shake it off. A message to those going through similar circumstances, forgive yourself for what’s happened, and use it as a way to self-reflect.
In the short film, UMI asks, “Do you ever wonder what it’s like to see the world through other people’s eyes? I feel like a main character in my story but like a background character in other peoples.” “Introspection” is an eloquent project, observing the way in which we view others and ourselves. UMI crafts a sound true to her, while embracing heartbreak and hardships. The talented singer wears her heart on her sleeve and weaves lessons for listeners underneath multidimensional soundscapes.