From the opening moments, from the immediate connection between the EP title and the very first lines of the starting track, Knotice1k makes waves emotionally – the words reach out with quiet contemplation and unignorable poignancy.
Blend in a stripped-back, ambient and cleanly mixed production style, and subtle yet satisfying melodies to meet with the rhythm and consideration of the writing, and this project quickly becomes one of the most broadly relevant, moving and impressive hip hop releases of 2022.
My Phone Never Dies But Friends Do – something relatable but perhaps trivial on first inspection, soon delved into in clear detail and reality as Unplugged lays bare an all too familiar situation. We never let our phones run down to empty, but for some reason we don’t act as swiftly when our relationships are about to.
Followed by the delicacy and tuneful embrace of Friends?, the EP leaves the mind wandering in a personal way, striking a fine balance between the artist’s individual story and a musicality and lyrical strength that prompts the listener to explore their own situation with intensely reflective awareness.
I Try follows and furthers the effect. Every track is only two minutes, if that, yet the music, the subtly evolving mood, and the lyrical stories, lay bare more than enough to hit with impact in that short time.
With Overload we get a little more intensity and pace, a gritty and intelligent outpouring of bars and changing emotions akin to the whole progression of the EP. More contemporary in its trap-emo-rap tone than, say, the lo-fi simplicity of Unplugged, but still the vibe is in keeping with this late-night deep-thinking state imparted by the entire conceptual collection.
Questioning everything and suggesting you do the same – the role of the self, friends, relationships, changing perspectives and the passing of time – My Phone Never Dies But Friends Do is the kind of project that hits with a little more weight each time you revisit.
As a closing song, Grave Yard Harmony makes for an ambient, aptly haunting reminder of the thoughts provoked throughout, and nudges the listener one last time towards replaying the journey; reconsidering their choices, the friends they’ve let drift away, the mistakes and regrets that make up a life. The soft drama of the drum, the poetic vagueness and clearly personal anecdotes combined, all makes for a captivating closing track.
And so we head back to the start. The EP in full takes no time at all, yet leaves behind a vast, lingering sense of self when all is said and done.