Young Ejecta creates a mini-album teeming with ethereal whirls and methodical thumping beats. The Planet is the follow-up to the band’s 2013 debut, Dominae. The duo doesn’t stray far from the enchanting sound and funky lyrics that spurred favorable reviews of its first album, but Young Ejecta’s success is stunted by a lack of vocal clarity.
Despite having to change its name due to copyright issues, Young Ejecta’s new album maintains the femininity and youthfulness present in Dominae, while creating an intergalactic sound brimming with refined beats, and interwoven with varying degrees of resonance. Electric keyboards run throughout much of The Planet, giving the album a futuristic vibe, supported with breathy vocals. Leanne Macomber, vocalist for both Young Ejecta and Neon Indian, uses the velvety tones of her voice to give her performance an airy, carefree vibe that oozes atop the precisely layered pulsing bass strums and electric keyboard pings, all without trying too hard.
While Macomber’s vocals take the 6-track album beyond the chant-like vocals that seem to litter the genre of electric pop, producer Joel Ford, of Oneohtrix Point Never and Ford & Lopatin, mixes The Planet to create a unity of sounds that ebb and weave, transfixing listeners. Macomber and Ford are both veterans of the music scene that have been given the opportunity to produce music for a number of different side projects. This combined experience offers the duo the chance to explore its sound and hone in on one vibe alone, which translates on The Planet with an icy feel as the angelic beats echo out over one another.
Album opener, “Into Your Heart” begins with Macomber’s silky singing alongside subdued keys, almost whispering under the lyrics. As the song progresses, the prominence of cool synth beats crescendos, enhancing the track’s message as the chorus is introduced. When Macomber sings, “Don’t push me away/I can dive into your heart/Tell me I can stay here in your heart/Don’t go away/Know that I am coming/Coming into your heart/Don’t dance away,” the light and airy beat brings an interesting paradox to a heartfelt song urging its listeners to accept Macomber’s love.
Much of The Planet is presented in the same manner; luscious beats and smooth vocals create a “chill” vibe, while the lyrics suggest a more heady meaning behind the album.
“All Day” makes use of a nightingale metaphor and includes actual sound clips of birds chirping and flapping their wings as one of the many layers of the song. The persistent beat, a subtle dun-dun, is subdued and mellow throughout the verses, giving weight and focus to the lyrics, “Don’t be silly old boy/That’s what I’m here for/I’m gonna follow you any place/I’m like a nightingale/I’m from deep space/I can just fly away/But I stay.” Cymbals whisper and begin oscillating as electric keys are introduced during the chorus and continue to crescendo and decrescendo as the lyrics are sung.
The Planet has all the elements needed to please dedicated fans and first-time listeners. The funk and spirit of electric pop isn’t lost; however, the brash lyrics spewed by Macomber are the real spunk needed for the album. The lyrics and tones in The Planet are evidence of Young Ejecta’s potential, but the moments when Macomber’s breathy tone becomes muffled and difficult to understand are when the album falls. It doesn’t make sense that the duo would put considerable effort into perfecting the essence of The Planet and not take the time to address a simple fix. A few additional sessions in the recording booth could have elevated Young Ejecta’s second album from all right to enchanting.
Young Ejecta is still a new and developing duo, but Macomber and Ford have the talent and potential to create meaningful music with a snappy twist. Amping up The Planet’s successful aspects and addressing what’s holding it back becomes the perfect opportunity for the band to flourish.
Young Ejecta – The Planet tracklist:
- “Into Your Heart”
- “Welcome To Love”
- “All Day”
- “Your Planet”
- “What You Done”