felicita's first album matures PC Music's inimitable sound.
About half of hej! is typical of the PC Music sound, where the building blocks of shiny, overproduced pop dance hits are broken down and reformed into something infinitely more harsh and jarring. Take "coughing up amber," with its staccato melody and constant gear changes. It eventually fizzles away into hissing ambient, then switches into a church organ synth and a high-pitched scream. "shook" is a full-on percussive assault, hissing and overdriven to total abstraction. The beatless pair of "elena" and "elena again" take piercing trance synths and rearrange them into a structure that would be more fitting to post-rock guitars.
The rest of hej! is far removed from digital destruction. There are heartfelt piano numbers such as "hej!." The haunting "marzipan" has a reverb-drenched vocal, from Caroline Polachek, that reworks a Polish children's song. The simple piano riff and swell of strings that back it all contribute to an overwhelming, cinematic menace. Another melodic, piano-led piece, "soft power I," has occasionally displaced notes and stumbling pieces of percussion that echo Kid A-era Radiohead, though less well polished. Its counterpoint, "soft power II," originally composed with the Śląsk Song & Dance Ensemble in 2016, is more piano with snippets of background noise.
The album closes with a pair of tracks, "night soil (fade out)" and "mosaic genetics," that don't fit so neatly into of either of the LP's brackets. They lie somewhere in between the harsh and digital, the soft and sincere. The balance of those qualities is what makes hej! impressive as a whole. It's vulnerable and melancholic, but doesn't neglect the anarchic fun that the label has been built around. hej! is one of PC Music's most well-rounded records yet.