Lil Aaron – Dark Matter EP
After working with Travis Barker to release ‘WORST CHRISTMAS EVER’ in December 2018, Lil Aaron has promptly released a second EP named ‘Dark Matter’. The Emo Rapper previewed this recent drop with a music video for the song ‘Dark Matter’ itself. However, 5 other tracks bless this EP, featuring big names like: Lil Soda Boi, Goody Grace, Blackbear and Wicca Phase Springs Eternal.
Lil Aaron holds a catalogue of 2 albums, 2 EP’s and around half a dozen singles on favoured platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. Yet other releases like ‘STUDDED GUCCI BELT’ and ‘smrtdeath and lil aaron’ are on independent streams like Soundcloud and YouTube. His distorted autotuned vocals command an area in the new wave of Soundcloud rap, and this EP in particular seems like an amalgamation of Lil Aaron’s audio timeline. The use of live instruments displays the previous punk aspects found in albums like ‘GLOING PAIN$’, yet the beats hold that same buoyant flow heard in 90’s Hip Hop and R&B; this gives a very new, yet nostalgic aura to the whole project.
‘Hurts’ (feat. Lil Soda boi) is the first track on the extended play, the autotuned layers gradually pave a low warbling effect that stays monotonal throughout the track. This paired with the sedated rhythm makes this opening song a ballad, that soon builds to the ‘Lil Aaron hook’ that is so familiar. The title track ‘Dark Matter’ follows suit. It structurally starts off similar to ‘Hurts’, although the atmospheric sustain is controlled by guitars; instead of vocals. This generally has a more attacking effect when the beat syncs in, yet still holds the mellow impact that is recognised at the start of this EP.
‘Last Time I Checked’ (feat. Goody Grace) initiates a quicker tempo for the entirety of this release, besides this track being heavily explicit it takes on similarities to a lot of modern chart music. Commencing with a clean piano tone beneath the vocals, expressing a steady movement of what is to come within the next 2 tracks. Despite this song having an up to date feel about it, ‘Tonite I Feel Like Dying’ (feat. Wicca Phase Springs Eternal) encourages the earlier inspirations of Lil Aaron. While holding this high tempo, the song has more of a Pop Punk approach to it. The use of muted guitars and wailing melodies doesn’t deter the synthesized drum beat that gives Lil Aaron his unique approach in the industry.
Within ‘Lurked’, the last original song on this EP, the use of the right synth gives this track a pumping progression that continues throughout. In terms of clarity, ‘Lurked’ exploits clean vocal effects and dry percussion that gives it a disco feel. Even Lil Aaron’s distorted vocals are toned down to make certain areas crisper and more prominent. This song concludes with a surprising guitar solo that emphatically finalises a new direction for Lil Aaron. The official ending track is a remix of ‘Dark Matter’ conducted by Blackbear, this brings an alternative idea around the original, yet doesn’t make you go “I’ve already heard this”. Although lyrically they are the same, the build and texture is completely different.
This completes another great project for Lil Aaron and has set up an exciting year for the artist, with releases already in the pipeline. His experimental features have exploited a new avenue for him and other artists that are inspired by ‘Dark Matter’, which is always something to be thankful for. The EP addresses a movement in alternative rap genres that are progressing in popularity and has certainly influenced Lil Aarons future as one of the big names in emo rap.
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Written by James Hinchliffe