Friday, May 14, 2021

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Sound Check

Sound Check


“In Tongues”

88 Rising Music/EMPIRE

Joji’s thoughtful music is the polar opposite of his abrasive YouTube character Filthy Frank. Where the two do converge is a DIY aesthetic, and Joji maintains this in creating lo-fi hip-hop. Following in the footsteps of his 2016 Soundcloud release “Chloe Burbank Vol. 1,” the 2017 six-song “In Togues” EP further explores the same aesthetic. Both releases feature tracks with a piano over melancholy yet head-bobbing beats. Filled with heartbreak, “In Tongues” is a beautiful breakup album. Fair warning, if you’re still mourning your last relationship, you will want to avoid this album because it will be triggering. On “Will He,” Joji asks “Will your tongue still remember the taste of my lips?” while on “Pills” he proclaims, “I need you back,” and you can almost hear the tears. On “Bitter Fuck,” Joji sings, “You made me sad and you made me mean” in a soft, comforting voice over an acoustic guitar. The rest of the album is more of the same and features all-too-real verses that will resonate with anyone who’s ever had a broken heart. Fans of The Weeknd’s “Trilogy” will most definitely appreciate the sad and spacey sounds of Joji. ♦



Contakta’s debut EP opens with “Fired,” and it packs all the punch of a synth-y 1980s epic. The rest of the four-song release continues this trend, with each track building and crescendo-ing until you’re finally dancing and doing your best 1980s-style fist pumping. Diana Weishaar wrote all the songs and brings the same commanding singing style she’s known for with The Host Country to Contakta (The Host Country’s Ethan Weisharr also plays drums in Contakta). When paired with Phil Young’s synth playing, I can’t help but picture Diana belting out Contakta’s tunes with big, teased hair while dressed in a heavily shoulder-padded, metallic ensemble standing in front of montages of outer space — especially when she’s shouting, “I don’t want to be your part-time lover, but I don’t need a lock and key” on “Housewife.” Contakta is Swedish for “contact,” and the band undoubtedly connects on their short, high-energy debut. ♦

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