Image from genius.com
Typically near the mid-west, nearing the end of August or the beginning of September, we start to approach more cloudy weather. The air is still humid, but its effect starts to wane off. The days of flying kites in natural parks and cruising down an elongated street towards the sunset are limited.
Matt Martians is a member of the now anachronic R&B group, The Internet, and a former member of the infamous rebellious Alternativ Hip-Hop group, Odd Future. As The Internet’s fame was accruing over time, Matt Martians initiated a side project in the meantime, The Jet Age of Tomorrow. It mostly consisted of his instrumentation, based around many of his affiliates’ contributions.
The music was lo-fi, groovy, and served as mostly filler music for in between projects from The Internet. After their 2015 Grammy-nominated album, Ego Death, each band member began to garner some notoriety for their seamless work. Cool girl Sydney Bennett began her solo journey with 2017’s Fin album, as Steve Lacy was trudging through industry tactics and marketing plots to expose his talents with his solo work.
The Internet’s image traversed their label as a sub-group for the Odd Future collective, and now holds more pressure for the music they were capable of making. Matt Martians kept himself busy along the way. Along with this project, he released his first solo effort, The Drum Chord Theory, in early 2017, along with voraciously touring and working on the new album for The Internet.
Once this album came out, the school year had started, and I had another post-Summer gloom. Although Autumn time is notable for bringing along maple-colored trees and Oscar films, Summer is most resonant with laying on the side of the grassy hills, looking towards the passing clouds and levitating kites. Along with this imagery, a plethora of music exists solely for this time of the year.
Although Dream Pop groups like DIIV or R&B groups like N.E.R.D. are usually played in Summer parties, a physical proponent of Summer music would be artists like Tyler, The Creator, and The Internet. Now as the temperatures cool and young partiers amble their way to their classes, what will their current playlists consist of?
God’s Poop or Clouds? came out around the Labor-Day season. If I were to describe why it felt like the right time for its release, I would have to describe every musical intricacy this album has to offer. The album is fifteen tracks long, with a wide range of sonic diversity, but a continuous “winding serenity” that undulates throughout the album.
The first track, Summer is Ending, is exactly the perfect start for a chilling project. The first minute of the track is a bombastic collage of hopping drums, eerie chords, and elevating voices, which cuts out to probably one of my favorite musical sounds to date. The second half of the track processes the track with yelping drums and snares, soothing keys, and Martians’ call for ‘going to lakehouse because he’s stressed out.” When listened closely, sounds of late Summer outside whistles and bird-chirping is added to the song.
The next track, The Long Way Home, which features Sydney Bennett, escapes the Summer fever and soars into the cloudy spectrum of the production. For the first half of the track, the chords somehow blissfully play in a certain rhythm which is best listened to on a cloudy day. It feels somewhat nubiferous, but light. Bennett doesn’t contribute more than a few lines, but her voice will always chill the vibrations of any song she’s in.
From this point on, the production really just fuses whatever relaxed or languid vibrations is could capture, and add elements of the Psychedelic or Alternative to it. A good example would be the track Dis Far Witcha’, where the first half of the track is a nod to turbulent relationships added with sensual synth leads and a high-pitched foretelling of the mess.
The second half of the track really delves into the ethereal aesthetic pervasive throughout the album, which although is still tranquil, expands its energy a bit. This occurs with its high-pitched keyboard chimes and varying synth leads. The track 1 A.M, has to be the most hushed throughout the project. It is a D’Angelo-influenced instrumental with a sensuous guitar lead and pelting drum rhythm.
It seems that this inadvertently became an early Autumn album. Even without the intention, this album came out when Summer was quickly transitioning to hoodie season, with blips of cloudy wind blisters and Sunny returns in between. This album is serene, cool, relaxing, and perfect under a mostly-cloudy day.
As the new school year approaches and yet another year is ending, this album is a good reflection of the upcoming season. While healing us from our incessant yearning for another Summer season, this is oddly relieving. Matt Martians is usually capable of creating projects filled with odd-sounding production and psychedelic instrumentation, but never about a consistent aesthetic throughout. At least, that’s what it this came out as.