Yeek tries to untangle a confusing web of attraction on his new track “Back N Forth.” “Girl, you got someone, so why you acting like you don’t?” he asks. “‘Cause I, I got my baby waiting for me back at home.” But nothing seems to end happily here — the hook ends on a sour note: “Now I’m alone.”
During the gliding chorus, Yeek starts with a choppy, staccato delivery before shifting to stretch out gummy syllables; the effect is like coasting towards the bottom of a slope on a bike after a tough uphill slog. Yeek wrote and produced everything himself, favoring thunk-clap drum programming that would fit in a mid-2000s radio hit from Scott Storch.
The song’s title has a noteworthy history, at least in R&B — there is Cameo’s “Back and Forth,” a chirpy, tightly wound synth-funk track from 1986, and Aaliyah’s “Back & Forth,” a trunk-rattling, Parliament-sampling floor filler from 1994. But Yeek’s “Back N Forth” comes from a different place: It’s bleary and nocturnal and misty around the edges, a ballad of mistakes, miscommunication, and misplaced longing.
“Back N Forth” appeared last week on Valencia, an album that breezes by in just 23 minutes. “This year has been so tough for releasing any kind of music and I’ve been slowly working on an album since the beginning of last year,” he told Teeth Magazine in December. “I took a little step back so that I can maybe get a good view from the sidelines. It seems like so many people are in a rush to get their music and art out due to the state of the world and what feels like its end. For me, it feels more like an ‘if my music is meant to come out, it will.'”
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