City Girl Tells Narrative Through Music

Vincent Knox   Managing Editor


City Girl is an independent artist and producer based in Los Angeles, California. Her music blends lo-fi ambiance and pop into an atmospheric experience that puts listeners into a trance. She currently has one EP and 5 albums. Her third album, “Neon Impasse,” was the first I heard by her and made me want to listen to more of her work. On her Spotify About page, instead of a conventional biography, she has put a narrative of “Neon Impasse”, adding more context to the album’s songs, and potentially giving listeners something to imagine while enjoying her music.

The first paragraph of the story goes, “As the sun finally burrows its way into bed, you leave Ji-eun’s apartment, finding the empty street outside lost in mist. You know your way back home but you don’t take it.” “Ji-eun’s Sunset” opens the album and it feels like a fun and relaxing day out with a friend. A bossa nova-esque guitar leads the song in, while the soft sound of the ocean plays in the background. The drums come in as the ocean fades out, adding a foundation for the other instrumentals to build on. The ocean comes in and out until it assists the guitar in closing out the song. The sound of the ocean is present in multiple tracks of the album, perhaps hinting at her California roots. “Mist Beneath Your Apartment” comes in, more up-tempo, more playful and carefree than the last song, following a stringed instrument over a drumbeat that carries you through the song, away from Ji-eun’s apartment, and further into the night.

The next paragraph reads, “Throughout the city you find velvet gardens draped in the colors of nearby shop windows and cafes. The tender stare of a stranger, their face illuminated by phone light from below and street lamps from above. The steps you take start to melt into one another, softly being enveloped by some unknown force that carries you forward.” “Velvet Garden” takes the time to chill things out a bit, evoking a sense of what it’s like to wander the city at night, lost in thought. It is followed by “Tender Stare” and “Soft Overgrown Steps”, the first plays like the feeling of a crush, young and hopeful. The second is more melancholy, sweeping you up in the lament of a piano. That emotion then carries over to the title track, “Neon Impasse.”

This album concludes with the final song, “City Girl.” It is a wistful and lonely sounding piece, which seems to give some insight into the artist/producer herself and cements a vision of her character when placed with the rest of the album. “Neon Impasse” masterfully crafts a story through sound, whether it is hers or your own. Her nuanced sound works well to evoke certain emotions in the listener, sticking with them until long after they’ve stopped listening. I recommend City Girl for whenever you want easy but very enjoyable listening. She is currently working on her sixth album and her music can be found on all major music streaming services. I hope you enjoy!

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