Well over a hundred years into the history of recorded sound, we still have plenty of trouble designating genres. You need only look at the sometimes fiery debate over the blanket term “EDM” or the countless number of hyper-specific and increasingly bizarre descriptors (like my recent personal favorite “aquatrap,” which, as you might imagine, sounds like trap music played under water).
When Chad from Hilly Dilly hit me with Astronomyy’s “Don’t Need U” yesterday, I was a bit skeptical when I saw the words “Surf/Urban” under the artist’s Soundcloud stream. I was comforted by the facts that Astronomyy’s website provided the tantalizing promise of “space guitar” and that the last time I posted something Chad sent me, it happened to be Lorde, a full four or five months before Lorde-a-mania hit.
I’m glad I hit play and didn’t trust my distaste for the horribly dated term “urban.”
Astronomyy’s music certainly contains elements of surf rock and bears the clear influence of hip-hop and R&B in both its production and the singer’s vocal style, but on gorgeous single “Don’t Need U,” the whole is certainly greater than the sum of the parts, a driving, sparse near-six minutes that could last another six minutes and still not outstay its welcome. It’s a beautiful introduction to a seemingly considerable talent (a suspicion confirmed by his cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” which you can also stream below).