By: Sterling Martin
Not only has Emancipator stuck to his roots for his newest album, Seven Seas, but he has further advanced his unique brand of chill-hop present throughout his vast catalogue. The magic lies between the collisions of Doug Appling's heavy instrumental elements with laidback, atmospheric grooves that float effortlessly from track to track.
One of the first previews we got of the album Seven Seas was the single sharing the same name, featuring Madelyn Grant. Her powerful voice leads the track through various climaxes, accompanied by the use of catchy percussion and a subtle string addition. There is so much emotion contained within the skillful layering Grant’s voice, that make the title track one of the most appealing of the release.
This emotion never fails, however, throughout the next couple of songs “1993” and “Ocelot,” which was the only other glance we had at Seven Seas prior to its release. The song, in addition to the official video, give fans of Emancipator exactly what they look for in his work—a journey. A great deal his tracks grow and progress throughout their entirety, building without any hints or foreshadowing, which helps to preserve his originality as an artist.
In “Land & Sea,” enticing synths and whirling flutes assist Molly Parti’s vocals combine for one of the more invigorating tracks on Seven Seas. Her lyrics, “Everything will be in its right place,” are guaranteed to have you dancing to the song in your head, long after listening.
“Delta Trance,” kicks off with an uptempo beat that never loses steam. A delicate tambourine keeps things together as the various guitar riffs, electronic elements and occasional chimes together form a relentless 3-minute groove.
The final song on the release, “Barnacle,” takes its time, finding a smooth, yet powerful atmosphere that serves as the perfect end note for Seven Seas.
The Emancipator Ensemble hits the road this week for its Seven Seas tour as well, which is coming to a city near you—don’t hesitate to grab your tickets now!
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