– THE MILITARY COUP –
In 2009, The Guardian newspaper released a “Create your own rubbish indie-rap crossover” generator which empowered the public to meld the likes of Scouting for Girls with Eggsy from Goldie Lookin’ Chain to manufacture “the first record to ever be slagged off on Blue Peter” or, worse, something that drew a “muted critical response from Zane Lowe, who gives it his lowest-ever rating of 3.5 out of 5”.
The lesson was clear. Indie musicians channelling their ‘inner-Kanye’ doesn’t work. Heck, even Kanye channelling his inner-Kanye turns out like a Diddy Kong Smash more often than not.
So you could be forgiven for keeping your expectations low when I tell you that Samuel T. Herring – frontman for Baltimore synth-rockers Future Islands – has been working on a rap record.
But, performing under the pseudonym Hemlock Ernst, he’s not bad at all you know. His upcoming project, which features the beat-making talents of Kenny Segal, is attracting rave reviews and ‘Down’ – one of two pieces to be released in advance of the full-length – is an excellent example of why.
Centring around a propulsive drum pattern and some ethereal Segal sound manipulation, it’s really Herring who takes centre stage as his expressive, impressive flow keeps the listener on their toes.
The album from which ‘Down’ comes – ‘Back At The House’ – is out on 25 October via Ruby Yacht.
MORE FROM THIS WEEK’S MIX
G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE: GO CRAZY
MATTHEW HALSALL: DISTANT LAND
MANU DELGADO: ZEITGEBER
ELSA HEWITT: TINY DANCER
P.S. You can find all of the tracks reviewed above in the 45 Revolutions per Minute playlist below or click to access the 45 RPM Playlist on Spotify itself.
If you like what you hear (or even if you don’t), please engage in dialogue with me @45rpm_Reviews on Twitter. And, if you’d like to receive updates weekly, please subscribe to the email list to get these recommendations sent to your inbox weekly.
– SV –