Phoenicia recently submitted a single for me to shout out on my social media accounts. The song was just a little too slow and somber for my mood the day that he submitted it but it intrigued me. There was something about the single that told me I just needed to hear more so now’s my chance! Phoenicia pointed out that he had a quick, four-song EP from earlier this year and, although tired, I just had to hear more from Phoenicia so let’s check it out quickly before I give in to my exhaustion.
There was something so familiar-sounding as “Stranded” took over the speakers throughout my house. The instrumentation is very pop-punk a la the early 2000’s which, as you know I am a complete sucker for. I was almost a little surprised when the vocals came in with a very modern almost cloud hop sound but it didn’t take long for me to warm up to them. I’ll be honest- this whole new cloud hop genre isn’t really my thing but I’m trying to get it because it honestly has everything I love. An infectious beat, emo lyrics, emotion– seriously, it checks all of the boxes so I really don’t know why I struggle to get into it as much as I do. As I listened to this opening track on ‘Stranded’, I started to think that maybe Phoenicia is going to be the one to finally break me into this scene because I loved everything about this track once I got warmed up to it.
The words in “Tricks” are so emotionally drenched that it almost feels like a heavy track. I honestly didn’t even catch all of the words as I was so lost in the way they were laid out during this track. They soar over the beat-heavy instrumentation while still remaining heavy. I hear the influence of rappers like Lil’ Peep but I also hear something that could almost be compared to a band like Knuckle Puck. It’s that mix that made “Tricks” somehow feel so familiar while being so foreign to me. I am honestly so intrigued by this entire subgenre (if you couldn’t tell) and I spent the majority of this track trying to figure out all of the influences I could hear.
“Something More” was instantly my favorite track on this quick EP. It definitely brought that emo and pop-punk instrumentation to the forefront while still having that new cloud hop vibe attached to the vocals. Although the autotune (or whatever effect it is) on the vocals comes on super strong throughout this track, I really like how it adds a modern twist to a classic sound. “Something More” is seriously the perfect balance for me and, if more acts in this genre had this balance, I could absolutely see myself falling headfirst into the cloud hop scene.
This entire EP lasts only eleven minutes and two seconds. I thought I was going to be relieved because I honestly didn’t think I was going to like this release but as the final track, “Hangover”, played, I realized that I wanted so much more from Phoenicia and this genre in general. “Hangover” has that perfect balance like “Something More” had while leaning ever so slightly closer to the rap side of things. As the track ended and left me in silence, I found myself scrambling for the words to explain what was going on in my head. I’ve always thought I’m too old for this cloud hop/ emo rap scene but, after listening to this EP from Phoenicia, I am realizing that this is actually right up my alley. Excuse me while I start sifting through Soundcloud for more acts like this! If you’re one of these acts, please reach out and send me music! Just make sure it’s as good as ‘Stranded’ by Phoenicia was, please!
My Favorite Track(s): “Something More”
For Fans Of: Cloud Hop; Emo-Rap; Emotions; Nostalgia
Mosh-ability: 6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie laid right next to my desk; Autumn sat at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me to go upstairs for bed
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 6 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10
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