This self-described cyborg’s disarming sound embraces the contradictions of the digital life
In 2012, Singaporean teenager Nat Ćmiel felt withdrawn and isolated from society. Perhaps a byproduct of growing up with the internet as second nature, they became fascinated by digital intimacy rather than relationships with their real-life peers. This would lead to an EP, self-titled with Ćmiel’s artist name, yeule, after the character from beloved gaming series Final Fantasy.
Over the past 10 years, yeule has been building on the eerie, exploratory electronic pop realised on that first EP, with their debut LP, Serotonin II, brimming with a yearning for human connection. Now 24 and based in London, yeule is releasing their second album, the boldly constructed Glitch Princess (the title presumably a nod to the jarring, sparking sound design present in their music).
Yeule self-describes as a cyborg, and in their sonic universe tracks judder to life machine-like, vocals, synths and textures arriving distorted from the ether, sometimes crackling and fuzzy like there’s a bad connection. It’s no coincidence that Danny L Harle, alumnus of PC Music, one the most boundary-breaking labels in recent history, is alongside yeule on production duties.
Breathy, experimental music that’s unafraid to play with pitch and expectation, with delicate, disarmingly intimate lyrics embodying the pleasure and discomfort of digital life (“I like touching myself, and I like being far away from my own body”), file this under the spookier end of cyber pop. In yeule’s beguiling music, the future is now.
Glitch Princess is released on 4 February on Bayonet Records