All these Monsters of Folk videos that keep popping up are just making me sad that I’ll never see another Desparecidos album. C’mon, Conor, stop wasting your time with this indie folk supergroup nonsense. The real money is in early millennial political emo-punk.
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Releasing: 30 November
Angular guitar riffs. Angular guitar riffs. Angular guitar riffs. Any consumer of music criticism will know that there is surely no other way to describe this kind of song. It’s only fitting that Angular Records is putting out this album, which you can pre-order now, if it pleases you.
01 Lower Leg
02 Trehorne Beach Song
03 Tidy Up Your Bedroom
04 Trees Fall
05 That Man Delivers Papers
06 Night Comes Down
08 Wymmin’s Final
09 Fist Face
11 Round Vox
12 Long Long Time To Go
13 Waiting List (intro)
14 New Year
It’s always a pleasure to discover a formally gorgeous, subtly expressive typeface while walking along a street or leafing through a magazine. (Among my current favorites are the very elegant letters in the new identity of the Paris fashion house, Céline, and the jolly jumble of multi-colored fonts on the back of the Rossi Ice Cream vans purring around London.) But that joy is swiftly obliterated by the sight of a typographic howler. It’s like having a heightened sense of smell. You spend much more of your time wincing at noxious stinks, than reveling in delightful aromas.
“There’s the me you see, there’s the me I see, there’s the me that I really am…”
—“Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart”, Lyrics Born
Though he swaggers with the best of ‘em and has bangin’ beats to spare, indie boom-bap pioneer and Quannum Projects co-founder Lyrics Born has always been a man apart in the hip-hop world. This is both by design, and by default: as a producer and artist, Lyrics Born adamantly blazes his own trail with each new record, refusing to cynically regurgitate trends or tone down his crackling technicolor vision of what hip-hop can be. As a lyricist, he has long been known for a stellar word-stash and multi-layered rhymes that go deeper than the first listen. As a hapa/multi-racial (self-described as Japanese-Italian/Jewish) MC, Lyrics Born has also, for the past 16 years, grappled with the pros and cons of being one of the first Asian-American rappers to make a significant impact on the hip-hop scene.
For my money, however, it is not his daredevil artistic choices, nor the particular mix in his double helix that really sets Lyrics Born apart. It’s that voice. Lyrics Born’s voice, a unique instrument that can shout, soothe, and sing with equal effectiveness, is, in my opinion, an exceptionally more versatile musical tool than what the majority of contemporary MCs are packing. He’s got a sexed-up low register, a sassy, swinging shout, a rapid-fire show-off mode, a new-wave tinged melodic mellow tone, and a bunch more vocal versions of himself tucked up his hoodie sleeves, all of which coalesce into an electrifying and distinct sound on record and on stage.
In the above-quoted song “Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart”, from his upcoming album As U Were, Lyrics Born raps passionately and reflectively about being “pulled apart”, and several lines in past lyrics also acknowledge his chosen path as a road-less-travelled hip-hop maverick. Though in “Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart” he makes a compelling case for being a tortured artist who is painfully self-conscious about every choice he makes, the truth is, Lyrics Born has taken the multi-faceted influences of his personal and professional life and fashioned an unparalleled aesthetic which no one but he can claim. And there’s nothing more cohesive than that.
// Notes from the Road
"The 2017 Global Citizen Festival's message for social action was amplified by Stevie Wonder and many other incredible performers and notable guests.READ the article