With Dualistic resonance Aftertheparty Steps into his Own
Kellen Fredrickson // May 16, 2019
Through myriad variety of artists, and in the quest to unearth the best genre-bending creations this transcendent music scene has to offer, one thing in particular is worth respecting and admiring: Duality.
Moreover, it’s easy to appreciate those who have come to master their craft, homing in on their niche after exploring the continuum of sonic possibilities that define who they are and the way their art is delivered to their listeners.
This mastery represents a true coming-of-age for an artist. A true epiphany of their unique identity amongst their musical counterparts.
Case and point: New York’s Aftertheparty. It’s difficult to accurately depict just how his music has evolved through the release of his projects ?!, What You Really Mean to Me, and Emulsion.
The first two, ?! and What You Really Mean to Me, set an incredibly promising tone for their ensuing productions. To date, ?! is the longest project that Aftertheparty has ever released. At a whopping 18 songs, it completely shifted everything we thought we knew about soul-stirring introspection, sublime vocalism, and mixing it all with production that makes you fucking bop.
The latter project, What You Really Mean to Me, had a significant amount of content contained within it as well. It was a bit interesting, because also released in 2016, it challenged what we thought we had learned about Aftertheparty from his debut. It was markedly slower on the BPM front. It seemed more serious in some way. What was seen in the soul-searching motif of ?!, was experienced tenfold in What You Really Mean to Me.
Then came Emulsion.
A five-song score, Emulsion is dark, self-assured, and bold in its own right.
It’s not often that you find an artist that writes, performs, and produces their own musical entirety. However, it’s truly a pleasure when you do. With only a lone individual in charge of taking the music from inception to execution in its most pure form, direction is straightened and vision is narrowed.
Emulsion was incredibly important because it forged an identity. It was dark, but not weepy like one might have come to expect from an artist like The Weeknd. Somber, but refreshingly aware.
It’s rare to encounter an artist so incisively introspective yet able to weave stories on the battle with their inner demons. It’s even rarer when the resulting art is such a warped and wavy brand of groovy bedroom trap.
Back to duality: straddling conceptual lines of musical production and score. Doing so with finesse.
Between his last release and resonance, Aftertheparty dropped 8 singles. Only one of them made the new album.
All of them showed progression towards something truly experimental.
And what we got was something better.
With the release of resonance, it feels like Aftertheparty has turned a corner. From the perspective, he’s already accomplish something most artist fail to: being truly unique.
It’s hard to think of any musician that you could fit in the same stylistic delineation as him. And that seems like the mark of a true modern artist. In a transcendent and indefinable moment in music, the best have to be able to not only uncover a unique sound, but then to take ownership of it and explore its possibilities.
What makes resonance great isn’t just that it seems like a fresh new take that exists between things we’ve heard before.
It’s because it confirms everything we already suspected about Aftertheparty’s unique sonic signature. All of the experimental things he is doing, are very obviously working.
During times of slow or stagnant music release, we find ourselves returning to albums that help us escape what we’ve come to expect. It’s not often that any artist can claim a spot in that classification of listening.
Aftertheparty has multiple.
If you’ve listened, then you’ll already know this to be true. If you haven’t, well you’re simply just late to the game.
Either way, resonance doesn’t just deserve a spot on your current and permanent rotation.
It deserves your respect.