Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth has buzzed about the avant beat-making scene since 2010, when he began producing tracks for an assortment of underground emcees and remixing the likes of Kanye West and Grimes. His second album is his most whimsical; its playful textures recall The Postal Service as much as Drake. "Snow in Newark" is melancholy cloud rap with an understated chorus, while "Surrounded" bounds between wily drum and bass and slinking ambience. At once languid and restive, the tracks flit this way and that, their ranging influences flying by like billboards out the window of a speeding car.
Sometimes stargazing and sunset-watching is just what the doctor ordered. For those moments, you might want the smooth R&B/rap-infused electronics of Ryan Hemsworth to pull tight around you, warding off the chill and soothing a rattled soul. Guilt Trips is the full-length debut of the Canada-born Hemsworth. Opening with the kaleidoscopic, slow-motion cartwheels of “Small + Lost” (featuring the sultry vocals of London singer Sinead Harnett), Guilt Trips reflects Hemsworth’s studied ear for collaboration and genre-melding. The floating “Against a Wall” features Miami rapper Lofty305, with the vocals playing second string to a heady ebb and flow of synth patterns and shifting backdrop textures. Baths (Will Wiesenfeld) appears on the mood-shifting “Still Cold,” giving the collection a skewed dose of pop melancholy. Instrumentals like “Weird Life” put atmospheric washes to work balancing out the crackle and pop of electronic polyrhythms and echoing vocal loops. “One for Me” drips with Tinashe’s buttery, soulful voice before the hard edge of rapper Haleek Maul glints on “Day/Night/Sleep System.”
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