Ryan Hemsworth’s debut album Guilt Trips is a project fleshed from human emotion, each track fashioned like a limb to assemble the album’s persona as a whole body. Hemsworth produces an understated and intimate atmosphere whose cohesive internalization of indie, rap, and hip-hop influences has Guilt Trips indecisively harbouring on the borders of electronic dance music and lo-fi, purple beat production. While “Still Cold” appears nostalgic of an 8-bit era, in all its Gameboy-sonic glory, “Ryan Must Be Destroyed” adds a more sombre facet to the same ‘video-game fervor.’ The intro’s sample of a music box frames the soundscape for an Alice-like descent into Hemsworth’s wonderland. The pop-native instrumentals are matured by closed hi-hats and echoing gong drums, which eerily carve an aggressive r&b track that is a misfit in its own genre. Hemsworth graduates from the scattered bodies of his previous mixes and eps with
Guilt Trips, but his ability to incorporate a human presence into his productions is still there. His intricate fusion of aggressive percussions, airy synths, and feminine sighs rhythmically flourish Guilt Trips with a sensitivity that delicately deafens.
Published: 10:21 pm, 20 October 2013