Author: Elliot Hamilton-Croft

Elliot’s Songs of the Week: No. 2

18th April 2021

Trigger warning: the first image contains blood and sensitive imagery

By Elliot

Falling Out the Sky – Armand Hammer, The Alchemist and Earl Sweatshirt  

Renowned American producer The Alchemist has once again worked his magic on this track. Taken out of Billy Woods’ and E L U C I D’s recent collaborative project, Haram, Falling out the Sky really caught my eye or should I say ears. With a dreamy and intergalactic beat, Earl Sweatshirt, this song’s feature, grips the listener, as his emphatic lyrics and lazy flow, describing how he has felt since his father’s passing in 2018, paint his world in gruesome detail with his father’s ‘swollen body behind [his] eyes’. Earl’s stellar wordplay also shines throughout this feature as he explains how his ‘rhymes’ allow him to interpret the world that he lives in. Then comes Billy Woods who is, in my opinion, a wildly underappreciated underground rapper. His signature east side twang compliments the beat beautifully as he talks of a summer smoking with his friends. Last but definitely not least E L U C I D rounds out this track and with swing; he recalls many childhood memories to the listener. Evoking recollection at one point of his friends hazing those that ‘fell asleep first’ by basically just beating them up, depicting what he describes as a ‘vicious cycle, hurt people hurt people’. Overall, this track even though it is just verse, verse, verse, is an exceptional showcase and grouping together of four very talented individuals. I live for it.  

Cover art for Falling Out the Sky

Despair – Black Midi 

In anticipation of UK art/noise rock and post-punk outfit, Black Midi’s new album Cavalcade, due to release during late May this year, released one track early: Despair. One of two singles thus far. This one is by far my favourite. With a more laidback feel to it and clear folkish influences, Geordie Greep (lead singer), for me at least, really embodies his unique, croaky, almost Jim Morrison-esque vocal range. Subtle and sorrowful guitar passages guide you  

The song takes on a medieval feel as Greep talks of ‘man’ taking up a philosophical role. The minimalism of this track compared to a lot of Black Midi’s other endeavours which was a good hand to play for them. I cannot wait to hear the rest of this album and I hope that you join me in that impatience.   

Cover art for Despair

The Light Pt I & II – BROCKHAMPTON  

BROCKHAMPTON, after a decidedly and deservedly long hiatus from music, have come back with their most personal and remarkable album to date with ROADRUNNER. The Light and The Light Pt II really stood out to me amongst the tracklist of this project. Joba and Kevin Abstract shine on both of these songs as Joba describes the aftermath of his father’s suicide and Kevin discusses how it is still hard to talk to his own mother about his homosexuality. Joba’s descriptions of his father’s suicide and subsequently his views on death and what happens afterwards at times verges on hard to listen to. A line of Joba’s which is almost macabre to me – ‘a bloody backdrop, skull fragments in the ceiling // felt your presence in the room’ – not only is this so powerful but the horrendously honest imagery here and throughout these two tracks transports you into a man’s mind so obviously traumatised. The instrumentals across these tracks are gorgeous not to mention. Fuzzy guitar licks reflect both artists anguish as they navigate their way through their psyches. If you do not feel like listening to the entire album, then definitely give these two songs a listen.   

Cover art for The Light Pt I & II

Elliot’s Songs of the Week

6th April 2021

By Elliot

Magpie – Lava La Rue

Up and coming Ladbroke Grove local Lava La Rue has released arguably her strongest single to date with ‘Magpie’. Lusciously layered soul samples dunk the listener into what can only be described as a dreamy psychedelic RnB experience. Lava’s vocals weave in and out of the contagiously likeable beat, with her rap verses flowing effortlessly. While, at face value, it would seem this song is devoted to past lovers, once examined, it is clear through lyrics such as – ‘hear the beat // London city set me free’ – Lava is celebrating the historical diversity of the city she has grown up in. Not a love song to a partner; instead a love song for her city. With heaps of self-confidence, Lava has once again shot herself into the limelight with this single especially in the UK scene and I look forward to hearing more from her. 

Sisyphus – Quadeca 

To say that Quadeca has come far from his days of dissing and collaborating with YouTubers would be an egregious understatement off the back of his recent single ‘Sisyphus’. The depth and grandiose nature of Quadeca’s production on this track is the first thing that took me by surprise. The combination of choral vocals, synth arpeggios and glitchy blemishes adds to the mountainous feeling throughout. Quadeca’s introspective and mature lyrics use the Greek myth of Sisyphus to explain how he only loves his significant other when he is working or ‘pushing the boulder’ so to speak. The song comes to end with a huge crescendo of jarring drums and distorted guitar something not too dissimilar to Deftones with its metal/hard rock influences. Quadeca has very clearly pulled out all the stops to produce something as gorgeous as ‘Sisyphus’ is and I cannot wait to hear more out of his camp. Whether you have not liked or listened to Quadeca in the past this track is a must-listen for anyone who enjoys good music. 

Born in Luton – Shame 

‘Born in Luton’ is a delightful new track by Shame a band hailing out of South London. Riding the wave of a fresh EU post-punk movement spearheaded by bands like Idles and Viagra Boys. With its screeching heavily distorted guitars from start to finish, the song almost diverges into noise rock at points. The song reaches its climax by the end where it seems to implode as Steen, Shame’s lead singer, with anguish, screams his vocals to outro the song. A really enjoyable listen and definitely worth a shot if you are enjoying the sort of post-punk revival that is happening currently. 

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