Record Review: WNDRKND Gets Lyrically Dense on Don't Sleep | Record Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Record Review: WNDRKND Gets Lyrically Dense on Don't Sleep 

03.02musreviewcover_wndrknd.jpg

For an EP as moody and dense as WNDRKND's Don't Sleep, a collaboration with the producer PGMW, the opening lines effectively set a scene for the next twenty-two minutes: "Shit, I thought of this before while I was mourning a friend/We just flashes in the night, so why we born in this skin?/I say you lookin' at a god when I was formed into sin/Who could be my mentor/Let the story begin."

That sequence alone is enough for listeners to chew on for a moment or two, but on Don't Sleep there's no time for pondering. Imagine the jam-packed, brooding emotion of those four lines repeated dozens of times, on the opener alone. Such head-breaking lyrical and emotional heft is the album's gift and curse.

By largely eschewing the lengthy pauses, bridges, and choruses that have become requisite in modern hip-hop, WNDRKND is able to fit a stunning number of words into each of these songs, with nearly every sequence feeling intentional and deliberate. Those who dig through and explore these lyrics will neither be disappointed nor finished anytime soon.

If you think an emcee's primary job is to take listeners on a journey, a huge contingent may find themselves lost at sea on Don't Sleep, or even missing the boat entirely. Each song on Don't Sleep is a bottomless trove of clever turns of phrase and sharp social critique. The gravity of the proceedings—with the exception of the blunted "Villi"—makes it hard to find an easy access point.

The production of Pittsboro's PGMW, who has worked with Well$ and King Mez, only exaggerates the effect. His otherworldly, left-field sensibilities provide Don't Sleep with an unsettled, ghostly landscape. Ultimately, WNDRKND's verbosity means the audience will desperately crave a mental break from his crunching synths and drums.

Don't Sleep is more interested in challenging the audience than appeasing it; for the few who stick around, it's worth the time.

This article appears in print with the headline "Sooner and Later."

Speaking of , wndrknd X Pgmw

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Record Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

DJWurkz just become a new fan! I will see them live at first opportunity I get.

by Keith Ramon DjWurkz on Record Review: Youth League's Second EP Is a Propulsive, Powerful Effort (Record Review)

I'm all in on this album. Love the sound, love Amelia's soaring vocals. She brings a humanizing element to electronic …

by aburtch on Record Review: Sylvan Esso Refines its Slick Synth Pop Formula on What Now (Record Review)

Most Recent Comments

DJWurkz just become a new fan! I will see them live at first opportunity I get.

by Keith Ramon DjWurkz on Record Review: Youth League's Second EP Is a Propulsive, Powerful Effort (Record Review)

I'm all in on this album. Love the sound, love Amelia's soaring vocals. She brings a humanizing element to electronic …

by aburtch on Record Review: Sylvan Esso Refines its Slick Synth Pop Formula on What Now (Record Review)

This record is "All Over the Place". I mean that in the best way possible.

by hubbble on Record Review: Trust Trandle's Comfortable Instrumental Hip-Hop (Record Review)

Love it! All the songs are beautiful!

by Jon Champion on Record Review: The Return of The Veldt, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, Is Great (Record Review)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation