L.A. artist blackbear has had a busy few days. Since this last Friday, he has released his third project of the year: the deluxe edition of his newest EP entitled “Cashmere Noose”, trended #1 worldwide on Twitter, and leaked his cell number in order to send free downloads of the EP to his “broke college fans”. The juxtaposition found on the EP of dark, moody lyrics with synth-heavy, beat-focused r&b creates a sound which the artist has experimented with consistently throughout his career and is learning to perfect with a layered production incomparable to his previous releases.
Blackbear begins the EP with the track “Sniffing Vicodin in Paris” and the lyrics “Time is running out. For everybody, especially me right now”. After listening through the EP, I can’t imagine an end in sight for the artist- it’s that good; but, if he insists his time is running out, I figure it’s the listener’s duty to figure out why. The track instantly grabs the listener’s attention with a groovy dance beat complimented by smooth vocals. The production is flawless and the mood euphoric. The lyrics: reminiscent and nostalgic- maybe the reason behind the belief that time is running out. Blackbear seems to reveal a lot about his mindset in the second verse when he sings about not wanting to go to Kylie Jenner’s party because he’s “sick of LA bullshit, man I gotta go”. The lyric reveals a focus less on the lifestyle of a star and more on the quality of the music. The rest of the EP proves this.
“Rly real” is the follow up track and honestly probably my least favorite on the EP. It’s enjoyable but it’s not memorable. With that being said, the follow up track “Sometimes I Want To Die” seems to make up for that more than enough. The confessional track features an instrumental to get lost in and the vocals to match. The lyrics tell a narrative of the artists previous habits, always ending with the fact that he’s “off that now”. The song ends with the repetition to “let it burn”. Once again, the theme of time running out returns and it seems to be centered around the idea that the artist is completely exhausted with the superficiality he used to lose himself in.
The next track “my bad luv” features a bass-driven beat that proves to make for simply a fun song. It’s crazy how the artist is able to switch seamlessly from the moodiest of lyrics into the best of party anthems. “My bad luv” is a turning point in the EP followed up by “Flirt Right Back”. You can’t listen to the song without picturing the lights of LA flashing by as the car speeds through the city. To say it’s the perfect pregame song is an understatement. It’s an ego-booster probably more effective than “liquid confidence”.
Rad Cat produced the final track on the EP entitled “Wanderlust” and it’s a masterpiece. The trippiness of the production compliments the smoothness of the melodies magically. It’s a pop song unlike any other and my favorite on the EP.
It’s clear from listening to blackbear’s newest release that he has been evolving as an artist. It’s typical to find lazy production and cheesy lyrics when artists release so much new content within a year; however, blackbear was sure to avoid this by releasing what I view as his best work to date. The unique impression left by the 17 minute experience is one which I would without a doubt recommend.