The Free Nationals, Kali Uchis & Mac Miller are Balanced and Necessary

 Evan Dale // June 14, 2019 

Free Nationals - Time.jpg

There could have been a lot to unpack here. There could have been too much going on musically, too much ego at work, not enough room for balance, and too much to question about a posthumous Mac Miler release by an outside group. But that group is the Free Nationals. And as one of the most emergent, vibrant, and important bands of the modern aesthetic, albeit only their second independent release, Time gives us nothing except what we wanted.


From the outstretched hand of Anderson. Paak, a line of collaborative force has highlighted the first two singles from the Free Nationals. Daniel Caesar blessed their debut, Beauty & Essex with the kind of sex and sunshine that the funky bassline and chimes called for. With Time, not only does the public explosion of a Mac miller collaboration come into the fold, so too does that from Kali Uchis. Her soulful delivery along the track’s chorus and the addition of an opening verse set the soft, romantic tone of it all. By the time Mac Miller’s first posthumous verse comes in, the stage is set for him to play along the instrumentation in ways he always had an absurd knack for. Time feels timeless, is definitely unforced, and is perhaps the most fluid, inviting, and balanced anthem of an early Summer set to be a particularly effervescent exhibition of just how wide-ranging music has become thanks to acts like everyone involved.


Nothing but props to the Free Nationals for putting together an instrumental line inventive and bold enough to draw in such talented collaborators, making space for names a big as Kali Uchis and as polarizing as Mac Miler under the umbrella of damn good music.