Chilling With Fishes Vol. 2: Clouds, Sirens & Lizards
Remember that time you spent 46 hours on your couch?
Minnesota artist Spooky Black‘s (a.k.a. Corbin) music follows a very simple formula. Take cloud rap’s ethereal, dream-like production style and croon on top of it. The result is a perfect soundtrack for late and lonely nights, those moments you find yourself contemplating purchasing Tinder premium because “it’s totally my location’s fault” and you would “totally pull it off in Sweden”. Or maybe you don’t do sad stuff like that. But you probably do.
Leaving EP should be all you need to decide whether you’re down with this type of sound or if you just hate me. Track “Echoes in My Mind” features Wiccaphase, who sounds like Future and Morrissey had a baby who’s on the verge of a percocet overdose.
Corbin is a member of thestand4rd, a collective that comprises the aforementioned artist as well as Bobby Raps, Allan Kingdom and Psymun. Last year the group dropped their first collaborative effort as a self-titled album, an exercise in r&b and rap’s increasingly blurred lines. You can download it for free by stabbing here, or just stream it on Soundcloud below.
In case you were wondering where the hell did I get the header image from, it was found on the cover of Bobby Raps and Corbin’s Couch Potato mixtape, which is available on Bandcamp.
For those of you who much prefer a soothing – or sometimes aching – female voice, there is no need to worry. I got you. Or rather yet, these British gals do.
There’s a new The Japanese House video for the track named “Sugar Pill”, and while it does bear similarities to the sadboy sound palette so prevalent nowadays, it offers glimpses of light every now and then. Her voice is beautiful. It serves as a guide through the nostalgic imagery of the video, evoking thoughts and feelings I’m sure we all experience in the key transitional moments of life.
With a much more organic sound, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Lianne La Havas‘ sophomore record, Blood, is a charming LP. While the songs are catchy and often structured simply, the arrangements display a refinement that is rare to find. The production is perfect, leaving much room for Lianne’s soulful singing to take the lead. Blood is available on Spotify and iTunes, and the artist’s Soundcloud features some tracks from it plus several remixes. I’ll include here a stripped-down performance of the album opener, “Unstoppable”, for it was this clip that made me want to delve into her work.
The commonality between fish and lizards is more than just scale deep. We share the chill lifestyle. While my aquatic friend is down there letting the current take him to calm reefs and serene atolls, I’ve been up here sitting sedentary atop a sun-warmed rock. That’s it. Just languidly bathing in the light, eyes in a semi-glazed but nonetheless aware squint. Not through any inherent laziness, but rather by choice. This casual lifestyle gives me a lot of time to study my favourite things in the world, plants. So it’s no wonder when I heard the track “(((( Money Tree ))))” from this laid-back experimental album by Pacific Yew titled House Plants, my eyes widened slightly. This did not last long though, as the chilled sounds of the Fort Worth (TX) artist known as N.O.M.A.D (an acronym for Navigation Of Music And Dreams) relaxed me past the point of merely squinting, into a near trance-like reverie.
The compositions seem to have the breadth of sound achieved via electronic means but with the dialed-back production aesthetic of analog recording. As with the project’s name, the majority of the tracks are named after various plants around the world. Some of the tracks feature vocal samples of conversations and others like “Money Tree” (embedded below) are mostly instrumental. There are cuts that possess the kind of low-key beats that are just coolly waiting for transposition into the backings of a mellow hip-hop track. There is quite a bit of variation on the theme of this album, so don’t just restrict your relaxation to this one track; head on over to Pacific Yew’s bandcamp and
blaze it up. – Lacertilian.
Lots of chill pills appealing to a wide range of tastes. The Lizard just showed why he’s one of the best in the game by murdering me on my own article.
It’s all good, though. Cause we’re chill.