Stylishly uniting the fast-paced power-chords of pop-punk, with the melodic-rap tendencies of contemporary hip hop, this four-track mixtape from POPSTARR and Yung Linko speaks on behalf of both the creative freedom of 2020, and the professionalism required to produce quickly immersive music.
Demon kicks things off and fits well within the current landscape, standing out for its title concept above all else. Then we get Every Time, a definite early highlight, with fresh production and strong guitar work throughout. The track has a likeable structure, balancing the addictive melody of the hook with rap story-telling and additional dynamic between voices.
Die Young takes the punk aspect even further, with multiple layers of guitar intertwining to raise the energy and unite well once again with the rhythm and optimistic melody of the vocal. The story feels intimate, deeply personal, reflecting on failed relationships and the perspective of the self, the thoughts that consume us.
These topics are touched upon subtly throughout the mixtape, but the overall vibe of the music and the colourful nature of each soundscape takes the reigns more notably than the subject matter. The result is a project that’s easy to escape into, and which does speak on heavier issues but not overwhelmingly so – it keeps things fun, laid-back.
I’ve Been Running finishes things up and proves another definite highlight. Creative sound-design really crafts something original around listeners, and the lyrics deal with deeply revealing vulnerabilities. There’s something notably human to connect with, and the music provides a striking, memorable ambiance within which you can really take this on. A mellow track vocally but an interesting one musically – another effective use of contrast and balance.
The project in full is a strong collaborative effort, feeling all at once relevant and creative, showcasing a natural chemistry between all involved.