In a glitchy transcendence to the ethereal realm, Yeule creates a cyber-gothic atmosphere this explores reality, imperfection and the body.
glitch princess is the second feature film project by 24-year-old London-based, Singapore-born non-binary artist Nat Ćmiel. Since 2014, Ćmiel has been releasing computerized ethereal pop music under the name Yeule, with Serotonin II as their 2019 debut album. On this 2022 release, they got even more exploratory than their last release, and while the album is full of glitchy computerized textures, it’s Yeule’s most human-like record.
Atop a hum like a running computer fan and sporadic synths, Yeule delivers a cybernetically flawed spoken-word introduction on the opening track “My Name is Nat Ćmiel”. You feel like you’re traveling through a cyber-dimensional wasteland, discovering a malfunctioning cyborg repeating a message endlessly.
Lyrics such as “I like to dress up and not go out. I like my cat, Miso. I like touching myself. And I like being away from my body. glitch princess intense and uncomfortable, and also meditative. The sonic wash of “Fragments” acts as an elevator to the next dimension with Yeule’s voice crackling with comfort until the song is overwhelmed by the cries of ones and zeros. There are some beautifully crafted pop moments on the record, such as the jungle trance beats in “Too Dead Inside” and the heart-pounding hyperpop explosions on “Bites on My Neck.”
It’s hard to write about what we lack as humans, to turn it into something meaningful and tasteful. Topics of body image, eating disorders and substance abuse are addressed so viscerally and gracefully by Yeule. “Perfect Blue,” featuring Japanese hip-hop artist Tohji, shines a light on obsessive qualities, the way we perceive our bodies and shape them to match something glorified. “Didn’t fit the shapes you cut / Made me wanna stab my belly.”
“Friendly Machine” is a graphic track exploring the pervasive thoughts of death, putting those feelings of unhappiness into words. Meanwhile, the outro track “Mandy” is a dialogue between the singer and a drug-induced impersonation—an impersonation that absolutely tears reality in two with the screams of “MANDY!” and shearing of defective textures.
glitch princess is a beautiful album; glorious at times because of Yeule’s ability to be so open and honest about what we lack as people. The guitar “Don’t Be So Hard on Your Own Beauty” sinks into the middle of the disc’s track listing as a sort of sweet respite from the rest of the digital tracks. It’s all acoustic guitar with the occasional high-pitched melodic percussion and Ćmiel’s vocal layering under a diary-entry-like flow of vocals. It does not strongly present the digital timbre of the rest of the album, but it carries the mission of glitch princess.
There’s a spiraling nightmare of self-destruction for the singer, but they have this support entity that reassures them not to be so hard on themselves. “You left me crying and wiping my eyes,” Yeule sings. “And make me feel more than nothing sorry.”
GLITCH PRINCESSTHE YEULE SOPHOMORE RELEASE IS NOW AVAILABLE!