Creating from a uniquely unpredictable musical catalogue, writing from a place of calm and contemplation alike, Kid Lava’s Eternal Darkness Vol 1. is an EP that fits well amidst the current hip hop landscape.
Excalibur leads with a simple, haunting beat, a contemporary rap flow, yet a surprisingly raw, unaffected presentation. Not hiding behind auto-tune, but rather riding the energy of the track and taking the opportunity to throw in more than a few bars that are relevant to the modern hip hop and trap scenes. That piano lingers in your mind afterwards.
Demon Slayer changes the mood significantly – piano guides again, but here we get the sound of the ocean, some strings, and a generally more hopeful aura just briefly. Enter Kid Lava’s vocal, a rising sense of anticipation, and a lyrical depth that’s refreshingly more intentional. The music continues to impress, a quality soundscape that’s genuinely unique and enjoyable.
Lyrically we get to know the artist, and that central line is powerful – If you’re not happy; get the fuck out of bed. It’s a simple concept, it drives you to move, to get things done. Still Kid Lava holds onto that contemporary flow, with short lines, but the pace is quicker here, things have more weight and meaning. The focus is on not giving up, working hard and seizing the moment. A strong track – a definite highlight.
The music continues to impress with BussItDown, a bright piano soundscape that feels like a nineties pop song before the rap vocal kicks in. This time we get a simple anthem of a track, quirky and rhythmic, catchy and laid-back. You begin to view the artist as in love with the music and the process, and that’s an important quality in terms of longevity on the scene.
Moneyyy returns to the simple haunting repetition utilized in the opening track. Feeding into the nostalgic hip hop influence of raising up from nothing to riches, the song keeps things minimalist and makes use of a few quirky rhymes to keep the soundtrack moving.
Bringing things to a close is another surprisingly eclectic track. Darkness Reborn tips its hat to the EP title, and to the best of the project’s musical offerings. A uniquely compelling soundscape emerges, rising in intensity throughout. Then we get some classic poetry given a modern and personal spin. Kid Lava battles with his own emotional decisions.
There’s a hypnotic aura to this process – the back and forth proves quite mesmerising amidst this powerful soundscape. And the intensity rises in the voice, too – the first time clear passion makes an appearance; rounding things up nicely. It will be interesting to hear where Vol 2 ventures off towards.