biLLLy – Up In The Air

Charmingly rough around the edges

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With the melancholy-pop hip-hop of ‘Up In The Air’, it’s hard not to have respect for biLLLy. A fresh face, tracks like this are certain to gather him an audience in no time.

‘Up In The Air’ features some old drum samples and some analogue synth lines, which build up a semi-retro vibe to a track that feels timeless while also being charmingly rough around the edges. It fits seamlessly into any musical era of the last thirty years, and it doesn’t sound jarring in doing so. This is predominately because it’s not about the music here: the borrowed beats and emotive synths all draw attention to the vocals and lyrics as the centrepiece.

Worth it? Perhaps. It’s a real nice blend of melancholic reflection and inspirational drive, delivered in a forward way that is simple and straight to the point. To make this feel less bland, there’s some backing vocals that play out alongside the main vocal with varying effects to make them distinctly different. It’s a bubbling element of experimentalism that makes it worth listening to.

But in a way, a sort of half good and half bad way, this leaves you wanting more from both biLLLy and the track. It feels like the future is bright for the sound experimenting of biLLLy, but you wish that more of that had come into this track to make it even more defining. biLLLy obviously has a feel for playing with his voice as an instrument (1:42), so it’d be a shame to not see more of that in the future.

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