Verso-Scared Of The Dark
Philadelphia rapper Verso takes an impressively nuanced and painfully detailed look at systemic racism with “Scared Of The Dark,” off his new album You Are?. The song’s parabolic refrain ends with the lines, “My Uncle Sam told me this bedtime story/Said he loved me with all of his heart/But Uncle Sam never left the light on for me/Even though I’m afraid of the dark/He just put me to sleep.” That final phrase, tacked on at the end, turns an already powerful image into a downright chilling one. There are a lot of Ab Soul-esque Question Everything-isms here, a particularly good line being, “Ever wonder why you never heard of white-on-white crime?” Verso’s clear eye, concision, and empathy make “Scared Of The Dark” an engaging listen.
“Burn Out,” a track from London-based DJ Scuba‘s new release, Expectations (Hotflush Recordings), is an extended wave of euphoria that sounds nothing like what you’d expect based on its downer title. Scuba (real name Paul Rose) was inspired to create Expectations during a rare break from touring, so perhaps burnout recovery inspired the album’s mellow, blissful atmosphere. The track combines a thumping house beat with bubbling bass and trancelike synths as glistening peals of guitar rain down from above; you can imagine a mass of people getting down to this one in the Inception-goes-tropical landscape depicted in the album’s artwork.
Shrine Fuchsia-Urchin Fruit
There are few things I enjoy more than a good interlude. The best ones act as sonic hors d’oeuvres, treating listeners to an interesting musical idea or two before fading out. For whatever reason, my favorite interludes tend to be found on albums with colorful, abstract artwork. The 83-second “Urchin Fruit,” from French duo Shrine Fuchsia‘s new album translucent (Seconds Records), fits the bill. Enjoy its lunar synth arpeggios while staring at a tapestry of green, red, and yellow shapes.