18th April 2021
Trigger warning: the first image contains blood and sensitive imagery
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.
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.
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.