“Get Refreshed” is a weekly column by Billy Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here.
Cover by IllustratorFile
Full Playlist (2021)
Calm, cool, collected, and chaotic. One of these things may not be like the other, but they’re all equally valid descriptors of one Funeral — one of digicore’s longest standing figures throughout the scene’s entire lifespan. Cycling through a cavalcade of sounds and styles while simultaneously fine-tuning their overall artistic presence over the past 2-plus years, the 21-year-old talent has been able to balance those descriptors with perhaps the most nuanced take on hip-hop and pop his scene has yet to feature.
Standout singles like “crash tonight” and “talktome” capped off a resounding 2020 for his career and the scene he sits so sternly on top of; it was a year that set up an even greater one to follow, and now that we’ve arrived at that point, this promised “greatness” has manifested itself in the form of sheer ambition.
With that being said, enter Funeral’s most ambitious release to date: a defining debut full-length album in SUPERPLASTIC. Spanning x tracks held within a brief, yet entirely realized xx minute runtime, this experience presents easily the most complete exhibition of what makes his artistry so gripping from a listener’s perspective, and so unique from an analytical one.
Going back to those contrasting descriptions, no single act has made the concept of “sinister” feel so “subdued” within this scene. Each of these rap-laced tracks are just as calculated as they are convulsive; dejected as they are demented; solemn as they are surreal. It’s a balancing act that, instead of coming off as misguided or confused, presents itself as a twisted look into the all-too-real fantasies of a creative demon at work. He keeps one foot firmly in a world of rationality, and the other just as firmly in a haze of utter disarray — the final product being something you truly have to hear yourself to fully understand.
Tactic’s two-month silence finally concluded this past week with the release of their new single “Tardy,” and I think I speak for everyone in the know when I say that their presence was sorely, sorely missed. The Co-op creative mastermind – both as a musician and stylist alike – already laced their hip-hop centered output of old with all the character in the world, but with this new cut, they’ve re-entered the fray in perhaps their most lively fashion yet.
Their breathless flow remains all-too-consistent throughout the track’s runtime; it’s a performance that features an equal amount of energy and finesse alike. This center stage spotlight is practically handed to them based on how effectively the gliding instrumental – provided by the duo of wonderr and louis – sits subtlety in the background, leaving all the room in the world for Tactic to take said stage in stride.
Again, it’s safe to say that Tactic’s pure and utter creativity was missed over that aforementioned period of absence — it just goes to show how even the most straightforward of creative spirits can have such apparent power. That, in essence, is their claim to fame up to this point: creativity with no strings attached, and what we’ve seen so far from this approach just teases towards an all-too-promising career to follow.
Justin Bieber Prod. Shinjin Is More Than A Meme…
Online music Twitter was blessed this past Friday with one of its most affirmative realizations to occur this year. Euphoriaclub’s very own artemys made a post that revealed a moment perhaps none of us could’ve predicted: the new Justin Bieber and The Kid LAROI track that just dropped sounds a lot like… an Ivvy League type beat?
It sounds too good to be true; actually, it sounds damn near impossible given the two parties at hand. But one listen to that melody will put any doubts by the wayside, because that is unquestionably something that sounds directly out of the all-too-influential online collective’s camp.
And after giving this some thought, I really do believe this makes all the sense in the world. It’s no secret that any admirer of the wonderfully soothing and spacious melodies produced by acts like Shinjin and the rest of Ivvy’s members have quite a lot of market value to them, even from their earliest arrivals onto the online music landscape some 2+ years ago. As the mainstream pop world begins to slowly shift into new and since-unfounded directions come the dawn of this new decade, of course its top artists, producers, and even executives would look towards the creatively progressive underground for at least some sense of inspiration.
Were the people behind this track looking directly at Shinjin and Ivvy as a whole when crafting this instrumental? It’s far too out there to truly say yes or no. But whether it was a direct incentive or an overall subconscious inspiration given the rise of these types of sounds over recent times, the influence is absolutely apparent, and realizations like this extend far and beyond any sort of funny coincidence. This is as real as it gets, and it’s just another reason why we should pay the utmost respects to Ivvy League’s remarkable work in constructing one of the numerous sounds of pop music’s wide-ranging future.
Emo Gang Movement: “LIFE OF A KEN DOLL 2”
2021 is shaping up to be Boysnightsout’s most sonically diverse year from a collective standpoint — an inarguable fact when you consider just how remarkably explorative each and every member of the Swedish online collective has been. Even still, for as many releases as we’ve seen from these acts that reach quite definitively out of their comfort zones, there are just as many that live so effectively up to their “tried and true” approaches.
The most recent of these drops happens to come from the duo of lil dovas and kbry as “Emo Gang Movement” — who just came through with the sequel to their outstanding “LIFE OF A KEN DOLL” that dropped earlier this year. This follow-up blows its already-suburb predecessor out of the water, as in 5 short tracks, the duo accentuates practically every single positive aspect to exist within the blissful, future-peering hip-hop that they’ve come to be known for up to this point.
With an even more expansive cast of production talents here – most notably the surprising pairing of Maple and vvspipes on the supremely enjoyable PAUL FRANK FREESTYLE – these two gave us an all-encompassing romp that truly represents the absolute best of what these talents have to offer.
Wicca Phase Springs Eternal: “AURA”
When any given artist begins their entrance into a brand new career arc, it’s never easy to put 100% faith of certainty into that endeavor. However, there exists a special group of acts that can, by all means, emerge as definitive exceptions to that rule. To earn such a title, they need to have already proven to be progressive authors of their craft; era-defining creatives; all-around legends of their time, willing to accept the challenge of taking that “next step” beyond the musical period they helped to create.
All of these aspects directly apply to one Wicca Phase Springs Eternal — who, after bursting back onto the online music radar recently with their new single “AURA,” has essentially taken the first leap into the next era of their career to come, and it’s a leap we can all be remarkably confident in given what has already been stated in that regard.
But even ignoring all of those facets, one can arrive at the same conclusion by just listening to the aforementioned single itself. A pair of Garden Avenue production superstars in Taylor Morgan and Brody crafted the ideal instrumental for this occasion — allowing the Gothboiclique progenitor to sit comfortably in his typically anguished wheelhouse while simultaneously highlighting this far more energetic and lively sound that may just define the new areas he’s set to explore moving forward.
His own performance on the mic follows suit in all respects; this is quite possibly one of his most dynamic performances held within one single track thus far in his career. Given how well he balances the upfront and passionate singing here with the far more subtle and soft breaks from this vocal energy throughout, each and every lyric hits that much harder in their respective placements.
This is truly one of his most comprehensive and fully developed single offerings yet, and again, it arrives at just the right time given his foray into brand new beginnings career-wise. Icons like him have no inherent responsibility to keep pushing into new creative realms whatsoever, but we’re dealing with someone who is cut from a far different cloth in this sense. Let’s be thankful for that and enjoy this legend for who he is in this exact moment.
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