Yung Lean / Bladee: Psykos Album Evaluation


A decade in the past, earlier than the phrases “Drain Gang” have been ever uttered, Yung Lean and Bladee have been the dual flames on the forefront of the Swedish Invasion. Regardless of the longevity of their inventive relationship—and the truth that the collective has all the time appeared to prioritize their real friendships over enterprise transactions—the duo has by no means truly launched a full collaborative undertaking till now. Whereas each artists have flirted with guitar music and rock star aesthetics since their genesis, Psykos sincerely commits to an alt-rock and post-punk palette. Greater than a step ahead, although, it’s additionally a glance again: “Ten years, blood, sweat, and love, nonetheless standing tall,” as Lean sings on “Golden God.” Their sound in between genres is a pure byproduct of a life lived in-between, misplaced within the liminal transience of touring, shuffling from one resort room and relationship to the following.

With final yr’s Sugar World, Lean launched his schmaltzy Skinny White Duke period; right here, he transforms right into a model of himself nearer to Ian Curtis or Robert Smith. It’s a becoming sound for an album that’s in some ways about reckoning with the trauma of touring stardom—the titular declaration of “Golden God” inevitably suggests Virtually Well-known, one other story a few precocious child uncovered to the pleasures and perils of rock’n’roll at far too younger an age. On the anthemic blog-rock groove “Offered Out,” the pair sing not nearly shedding their childhoods, however fully destroying them: “I killed my youth/I watched it fall.”

If Psykos is an open-casket funeral for misplaced innocence, then opening “Coda” is a young eulogy delivered on the service. So usually, the cherubic Bladee has performed the ethereal angel, however right here he embodies a tempting satan, his crooning voice summoned as soon as Lean says, “I hear God speaking/Nevertheless it’s overshadowed by El Diablo.” From that reflective intro onward, Psykos strips away nearly any semblance of the trancey Eurotrash pastiche and lacquered hyper-pop gloss that this collective has turn out to be recognized for. In lieu of the ethereal gnosticism of Drain Gang is a form of Zen nihilism that finds solace within the comforting stillness of a darkish and empty void. When Bladee sings of creating “the leap with out wings” on “Nonetheless,” you possibly can both take it as suicidal ideation, or a leap of religion.

Typically the effects-heavy guitar remembers Eno-produced U2 or Parachutes-era Coldplay, however woozier and extra dissociative—in all probability the results of the counterintuitive cocktail of kratom and codeine that Lean claims to have been ingesting commonly throughout recording periods in Thailand. On the eerie “Nonetheless,” titanic cymbals crash into streaks of effects-heavy guitar, whereas “Issues Occur” slips right into a extra intimate acoustic mode. Many of the overt hip-hop affect is stripped away, however Lean slips right into a blunted rap circulation on “Ghosts” as Bladee serenades him with circuitous loops, and their penchant for tight hooks lends itself to anthemic singalongs like “Offered Out.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *