Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this evening’s Independent Spotlight, we’re going to be delving into an eclectic and compelling act, a man from Australia who records under the hip hop moniker, LSD. He’s part of the unique community that is the Australian hip hop scene. As I myself learned when digging into this content, the country’s hip hop has a distinct flair that influenced LSD’s work. His prolific sophomore album ‘Off the Grid,’ just dropped. Let’s get into it.
Now, when I say it’s prolific, it really is. The album clocks in at sixteen tracks scattered with guest features. He’s also got some solid video content out. For the purpose of this review, we’re going to take a glimpse at some of the highlights of ‘Off the Grid.’ Thus, we begin with the opening title track.
‘Off the Grid’ immediately makes a statement about LSD’s repertoire. It’s remarkably well produced and penned. The defiant, even cinematic orchestration backing LSD’s word slinging and DJ’ing is immensely impressive. The track was produced and performed by Rob Shaker, a frequent counterpart to LSD on the album. The collaboration is as fruitful as can be, and that shines through on ‘Go’ as well.
‘Go’ was produced by Creed Birch, though cuts are again performed by Shaker. The second track opens up a whole new sonic landscape, one that flirts with pop and R&B. LSD’s lyrics are as sharp as his production and instrumentation. They are, however, very fast. He’s a rapper with serious skill cascading from one verse to the next with admirable tact. Guest artist The Missus compliments LSD well.
‘Alive Again’ features the same lineup as ‘Go,’ again sonically experimenting with R&B influence. (Actually, some soul as well.) Even though the music is so polished, though, there is an element of genuine rawness to it. The lyrics of ‘Alive Again’ are some of the finest of the tunes I checked out. The song is also infectiously catchy, again tapping into some pop sensibility.
‘The Kids’ brings Mat Rafle to the table on music production. The song’s lyrics are painstakingly dark: rape, drugs, domestic abuse, etc. That said, it’s a poignant song that sits with you, perhaps more so than the rest of the songs. ‘Slow Down’ isn’t quite as dark, rather trading it in for some killer choruses and composition. The lyrics are intelligently penned: though R rated at times, they’re insightful and meaningful. ‘Troubles,’ a tune that again features The Missus, is a fantastic recording to close this review on. LSD’s banter with a female vocalist is incredibly intriguing. Again, his lyrics are excellent.
These songs make a pressing statement for ‘Off the Grid.’ It’s creatively produced and performed and well written, resulting in a rewarding listening experience. Go check out the rest of the record now by streaming and purchasing it on Band Camp, which is linked below. (Go buy it and support LSD - The rest of the album is great as well and for $10, it’s a steal.)