Retro synth-play and a vintage overall mix meet with gritty vocals, experimental effects, a classic hip hop edge and a clearly considerate, topical lyrical backbone. Aveli Amun kicks off this new EP with a poignant yet musically bold and bright Hold The Line.
The sound is a little unorthodox, and this comes to be a known trait of Aveli Amun – creative freedom, concept first, expression utilising whatever’s needed to make the point and set the mood.
How Mushroom’s Grow follows, and already that leading voice is instantly recognisable. The performance is a little more upfront here, the soundscape far more minimalist, leaving plenty of space to focus on this mellow yet dark and poetic outpouring of lyricism. ‘Eating bullshit in the dark – that’s how mushrooms grow’. There’s a distinct political overtone to this project, and the cinematic depth and grit of that leading voice helps really drive it through in a heavy way.
Your Feed switches gears entirely, an oriental riff and female-toned vocal melody lead us through a provocative realm that prompts confrontation of your newsfeed; your time spent online and the effect of this on your psyche, your opinions, your mood. The minimalism remains, allowing that clarity to keep your focus on the sentiment, the playful nature of the rap verse and its contrasting conceptual weight.
This feels more accessible, a little like a scene in a movie – or an audio film of its own. The flow switches up half-way through, the beat kicks in, just briefly – structural choices that are as much a part of the Aveli Amun style as the voice and lyrics.
Another retro synth melody and a warming bass-line welcome us into Living Wage. Both voices are familiar now, we expect topical, cultural talk, relevant references and a considerate deep dive into contemporary life and injustice. ‘Your trickle-down never trickles-down…’.
Here we get a spoken-word style delivery, and the joyful music cleverly juxtaposes the intensity once again – we increasingly feel as if we’re part of something here, not just listening to an album but experiencing a shift towards a brighter tomorrow, surrounded by like-minded equals.
Populace Leaders proves an easy highlight for its poignancy and musical satisfaction combined. An aptly melodic, colourful soundscape, with a catchy hook yet a deeply melancholic undertone.
Then we get the intriguingly titled SCOTUS to bring things to a bright, striking finish. Suddenly there’s optimism – ‘This is our voice… You won’t tell us what to say’. Those two familiar leads unite, a dramatic drum-line tumbles alongside them, the melody weaves its simple progression around us in a hypnotic, addictive manner. Another highlight and a beautiful way to go out.
There’s categorically something to be said for the art and music that emerges out of times of great struggle and uncertainty. In this case, a genuinely unique, quickly memorable style, with lyrics and intentions that are unafraid to be bold and honest and go against the grain. A project that talks on the times we live in with intelligent reflections, angst, uncertainty and confidence united. First 6 provokes thought – it’s not a light listen, but it strikes in an eye-opening way.