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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Irresponsible" - Emei

"Don't tell me to go slow," Emei sings on her latest single, "Irresponsible." It's for good reason—trying to stay ahead of the alt-pop artist's audacious pace is an impossible task. The production and songwriting are exquisitely chaotic; it's as though Emei wrote a pop song, tore it to shreds, and then pasted it together. Blink and you'll miss her transitioning between drum'n'bass, schoolyard chant, club-pop, and digicore. Each well-developed element passes, fuses, and transforms into one another. "Irresponsible" is an electronic collage of bold musical ideas all tied together by Emei's creative vision and gossamer vocals.

Similar to its sound, the lyrics of "Irresponsible" feel nonlinear. It's as though we're hearing the racing thoughts of Emei as they whirl around impressions and observations. "I don't know why / I never grew up and it's mortifying," reads the most lucid, yet self-lacerating statement. Other lyrics expand on this sentiment of stasis; the frenzied passion is constrained by her inability to move past her perceived irresponsibility. There's a sense of weariness in the way she depicts experience ("slap me on the wrist / tsk, tsk, I'm trying"), but Emei smokes in out as she speeds away.

Even before writing, performance was a significant part of Emei's life. Competing (and placing third) on Chinese Idol at 15 years old gave the artist experience and a platform which she directed towards releasing music on Chinese platforms and performing on Dancing With the Stars China. After the pandemic, Emei began releasing on American platforms to quick success. She rapidly garnered an audience through her excellent vocals, bold sound, and vivid lyricism. "Irresponsible" arrives as the second single of her sophomore EP, preceded by the single "Scatterbrain," which has already accumulated over nine-million streams on spotify alone.

Written By Andy Mockbee



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