Why? – Mumps etc (City Slang)
CD / DL / LP
Released 8 October 2012
A record for an indie generation Why?’s long player Mumps etc blends indie rock and rap for a backdrop to his everyday stories.ÃÂ
Why? is Yoni Wolf. It’s a mash up of indie rock feel and dry, nasal rap. The songs are built on top of subtle beats, strange percussion sounds, strings and piano. But the beats aren’t why you listen to Why? You listen to Why? for the raps, the conscious storytelling and awkward confessions.
The rapping is in a flat voice, not emotive, the emotions are brought to the fore by the backing music, most of which is bright, cheery and at odds with what Why? is saying. He is self effacing, depressed, unsure and full of doubt.
He talks about his friends Mum smoking dope weed and how that’s his ambition for when he quits his rap career. He talks about recovering from mumps, his lifetime battle with depression. He talks of everyday life, of not being able to sleep on planes and keeps a deck of cards for downtime.
Why? Doesn’t just rap, he sings in a more emotive, rambling pitch style. The choruses for most of the tracks are harmonised and quite beautifully sung. ”ËI am obliterated by the end of the night’. The upbeat way of singing again doesn’t echo the sentiments of the lyrics. The choruses also break up the songs and make the album far more interesting than just another rap record.
It’s a record for an indie generation. A catalogue of self doubt and worry balancing a quest for fame and adulation. The gentle strumming of a guitar is countered by a keyboard. Sounds of strings are balanced by a funky bassline. The tracks flow into each other, some more delicate and open, others dark and harder. The music is outstanding and reflects the moods of the songs.
This is an album to play at night, sat with a coffee and your eyes closed, discovering stories and phrases you have missed each time you listen. It will become an old friend and something to turn to when you are in the same frame of mind, it will become a part of your musical landscape.
Why? is on tour this autumn:
- 8 October BRIGHTON Old Market
- 9 October LONDON Electric Ballroom
- 10 October MANCHESTER Central Methodist Church
- 11 October BRISTOL The Fleece
- 12 October GLASGOW SWG3
- 13 October OXFORD The Bullingdon
You can also find Why? on Facebook.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. You can read more from Adrian on LTW here.