Luwi trades in a mournfully melodic brand of spacious, wavy hip-hop, sometimes eschewing the genre altogether.
Luwi’s latest single, “Bend & Bruise” (produced by Julio), takes things in a particularly analgesic direction, its slow, curling beats, weeping strings, disorientingly reversed tones, and cavernous reverb combining to create a palpably hypnotic atmosphere, like a depression blanket for the ears. Luwi finds himself in a place of despair, pleading during the song’s refrain, “Hold me tight when I get loose/And I get loose too often”; later, he sings, “Think we stress too much about fun and happiness,” and “Hold on me forever, yeah/The reaper come and take this flesh.” It never feels melodramatic, just honest. There are times when even Luwi finds himself lost in the music, slurring and trailing off as his voice is overtaken, Trilogy-era-Weeknd-style, by a distant sample of dialogue. “Your capacity for love grows and develops just as you grow and develop,” a woman’s voice says, but the sentiment doesn’t provide much comfort in the face of “Bend & Bruise”s overwhelming sadness.