Charles Luck ft. Sticky Bud - 'Whirlwind'

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 afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we return our gaze on Charles Luck and his Black Astronaut music collective. They’ve released a new studio endeavor, a single entitled ‘Whirlwind.’ Written by Luck, the track also boasts a particularly compelling production from Jef Kearns. Is the newest Black Astronaut tune worth having in your collection? Let’s dig into it and find out!

As readers of the Spotlight are surely familiar, Luck and Black Astronaut have become a recurring feature here on the website. The songwriter’s music has its highs and lows, and they’re usually fairly easy to identify by how invested he seems to be in them. ‘Whirlwind’ is the best track that Luck has put out since his ‘Life On Mars’ debut album last year. Everything about the presentation of this single screams that Luck and his collaborators were immensely invested in it.

Sticky Bud is an excellent rapper to bring their work to the mic. He’s one of those rhymers that’s especially fast-paced, so one may find themselves listening to the song several times over to fully digest it. ‘Whirlwind’ loosely follows the narrative of some of Luck’s other music: life is crazy and he’s attempting to remain inspired, innovative, and driven.

The heart and soul of ‘Whirlwind,’ more so than its lyricism, is the production and flute performance on behalf of Jef Kearns. The flute absolutely makes this song. It’s very unusual to have a flute in a hip hop beat, but it works so splendidly, and it gives ‘Whirlwind’ a worldly sound that’s really quite unlike anything else in Luck’s catalog. The flute is paired with a fantastic production, too. It’s intense, very anthemic, and exudes Charles Luck and Black Astronaut at their best.

There’s nothing to not love about ‘Whirlwind.’ It has so much conviction, and Kearns’ inclusion completes the piece. It’s undoubtedly one of Luck’s better tracks, and I’d love to continue to see this kind of experimentation from Black Astronaut. That’s the kind of hip hop that was so impressive when ‘Life On Mars’ came out. ‘Whirlwind’ brings it back in full force.