Kweku Collin‘s new EP, grey, is a comprehensive sophomore release composed of disparate sound and a multitude of experiences. The 20 year-old Chicago native’s nine-track EP features experimentation with noise, dissonance and feedback, with driving vocals that bounce on one track and then loom heavy and trancelike on the next. Signed to independent rap outfit Closed Sessions, Collins is dynamic and forward-looking.
When asked about his decision to dub this EP grey Collins said, “Grey is very humble, but when it needs to be, grey can be very bold. It’s very opposing in the way that it’s unified, being that it collects these two polar opposites and then turns them into one cohesive thing. It can be very cold and yet it can be very warm.” This description of motive, the ideas of polar opposite-ness and otherness collected into cohesion, could functionally serve as an apt review for the EP itself.
Thematically, grey moves between the past and the present, echoing thanks and homage on opening track, “Lucky Ones.” He talks about lost love, about the motherland, about dead friends, about ache, about gratefulness, about the passage of days, about long drives through the quiet. Halfway into the EP, Collins’ wide range of influences becomes apparent through the inclusion of a customized, dreamily distorted, trap-influenced cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ single, “Maps”–another apt example of otherness turned to something purposeful.
grey is a self-produced record and Collins’ musicality is impressive and complex. There is frustration in this recording, a sort of anxiety and struggle, the practice of mourning, the passage of time.
Stream grey below.