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Jarv Dee and Bad Colours Release “Clouds” (feat. Shabazz Palaces)

Just a few short years ago, Shabazz Palaces had one of the biggest indie albums to hit college radio in years, and in collaboration with Bad Colours and Jarv Dee, presents us with a new single in “Clouds” that collectively lives up to the rich standard all three of these artists have been adhering to for years now. Jarv Dee leads the trio with a seductive and conceptual instrumental and lyrical construct in “Clouds,” and with a little help from his collaborators offers us something that highlights the surreal aspects of his sound exceptionally well. 

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/jarvdee/?hl=en

“Clouds” is quite an experimental work on all fronts, but the vocal element here is probably the most curiously physical of everything in the mix. The bassline and the percussion actually struggle to match the presence of the slick verses on a couple of occasions in this track, and not specifically because of the raw, scooped EQ on the lead vocal alone. The arrangement is centering everything on the words that are coming at us with dagger-like sharpness, and beside the unabashed white noise of the melodic componentry in the music, the rapping in this song sounds almost ethereal and brilliantly meticulous. 

I love the depth of the mastering in this single, and I think it’s obvious that Jarv Dee really wanted us to feel the music as much as we listen to it in “Clouds.” There’s so much heat coming off of the collective attack that to have utilized a different tempo would have been to collapse the individual contributions from the bass, percussion, synths, and vocals. Every intricate part of the music has something that needs to be included here for us to fully appreciate the sentiments of the lyricism as we were supposed to in the first place, and despite being remarkably technical, the execution from these players is very impressive. 

These lyrics reference a postmodernity that’s becoming harder to find outside of the west coast lately, but I wouldn’t say that they’re feeding into the same surreal theme a lot of trap artists and alternative pop singer/songwriters have been experimenting with for the better part of the ongoing pandemic. Insularity isn’t a role player here at all, but instead couldn’t be any further removed from the construction of the narrative and its moodiness – Jarv Dee is pushing us into the speakers rather than the heart of the dancefloor, and odd as this might sound, it gives him a one of a king intensity here I wouldn’t trade for anything. 

Though it’s thoroughly experimental and lives to the left of the mainstream hip-hop conceptualisms we’ve been hearing and seeing for the last generation, Jarv Dee’s collaboration with Bad Colours and Shabazz Palaces in “Clouds” is a must-listen for hip-hop aficionados and discriminating ears that haven’t been spellbound in a while. This track and its video hit the refresh button on what has slowly become a stagnating period for alternative music and progressive rap the same, and to me, Jarv Dee needs to be credited as one of the more important players rocking his scene at the moment because of songs like “Clouds.” 

Mindy McCall

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