Defying categorisation, the Frend LP opens with voicemail messages set to a broad selection of tones including 80s/chiptunes. Half way through the tempo doubles up, and it takes off at a rate of knots before crashing to a gradual halt.
The next track opens with a Kenny G-style sax solo, evolving into a lofi hip-hop groove with a rap that might have come from Ross O’Carroll Kelly. The voicemail/phone call theme continues, and you begin to suspect that you have unknowingly been hijacked by a concept album, as the narrative bubbles under the tracks similar to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
The lo-fi vibe continues throughout. It’s very current, yet with a nod to the past. It’s very Dublin. It’s quite evocative. The bass heavy sound and degraded keyboards give a very warm analogue vibe, and the high end is largely unmolested, save for the hats. There’s some clever wordsmithing and athletic rapping going on – the boy can certainly spit with the best of them, but by the same token the instrumental work on here does not suffer from a lack of vocals – it builds and evolves and tickles your ears.
It’s all completely bonkers and none the worse for that.
‘Frend‘ is scheduled for release on the 5th of September.