Quite often I find myself flicking through an array of songs from the abundant, dope catalogue of Atmosphere; legendary, Minneapolis, hip-hop duo; when I came across their recent release “Trying to fly”. At this point, I’ve developed a sense of educated faith in the delivery of ill hip-hop music to my taste from Rhymesayers and on this record I got just that. The mellow, melancholic, low-key melody and simplistic but pocket grooving back-beat set the perfect tone on the track. The witty imagery from Slug, touching on themes of grief and existentialism with his playful lyricism is what in my opinion makes him such a dope emcee, because at second listen you’re bound to discover the complex undertone to his incisive idioms. As soon as the chorus hit I became of fan of Eric Mayson, with the “Time ain’t cheap but I know why” His fitted tone, smooth delivery and suited lyrics is what makes him the certified artist he is and this was obvious to me after delving deeper into his music.
Eric Mayson is a multi-instrumentalist, genre bending musician and vocalist with a distinctive and solid grasp of lyrical imagery, utilising this ability to paint his canvas. The glitchy blend of indie rock, hip-hop and soul on his project “Detail” displays a precise portrayal of his artistic character. Right from the start with the track ‘Capital’ we’re given immediate insight into his introspection, with the moody and turbulent instrumental assisting his words. Imagery like “my shadow and I are occupied” and other moments like this on the project, is what makes for an enjoyable but analytic listen. The track presents a natural build-up to the songs’ chorus, with a catchy play on the idea of invested time in the currency of love, as finical capital.
The project goes on to hone its own sound and develops a personality that resembles the soundtrack to a city like entity and the people that pulsate through it. This atmospheric, collage of landscaped sound plays perfectly at night, in a bustling, lit up metropolis; Mayson’s lyrics narrate his story and that of those around him with true sentiment. There’s not a track, skit or sound on this project that feels out of place. The songs and lyrical subject matter flow into one another cohesively.
The vocal delivery on this project plays its role; an overall suave tone with a hint of grit and the vocal layering compliments the wide and open, gloomy instrumental sound. His written ability to conceptualise from song to song sparks some of the most memorable attributes on this album, like the genius personification of his city on ‘Skyline’ with “I celebrate its skeleton constantly” or playful imagery like “what a sight for tight eyes” and “renting islands in the sky”. On one of the more indie influenced tracks “Red Circles” my personal favourite, his lyricism is nothing short of poetic. He describes creating a sanctuary or safe heaven with a thick skin character “calluses” to protect him from any damaging expectations or opinions of others that cast “red circles” around his ankles like metaphorical shackles, perhaps. This is simply first class writing and my take on the lyrics could be totally flawed, as clearly his vocal sound is not the only aspect on the project with multiple layers.
Most songs on “Detail” will require more than one listen to derive and appreciate their meaning and influence but can be enjoyed passively with its’ appealing sound. Its’ blue, soul and electronic feel sometimes brought to mind Childish Gambino’s “Because the internet” and how the two artists would make for a perfect collaboration.
The vibe on this project is strong, pulling ballads of hope and triumph from dark and stormy beginnings with sincere musical progressiveness. In no way does Eric Mayson’s artistry require validation but I would love to hear the bigger blogs calling out his name. If you’re looking for music with sentimental expression and alternate, experimental sound, peep what he has to say.
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