This electrifying new 4-track EP ‘From a Lonely Place’ truly proves the magic musical chemistry created by the master of confessional lo-fi rap beats, also known as Brennan Savage, when united with underground hip-hop producer Nedarb. These California-based creators are certainly making sure our lockdown is provided with all of the sweet-sounding essentials.
“To The Moon” kickstarts the mixtape; a super-ethereal beat full of understated passion, as always. The fairly slow moving song shines a sombre light on realisation and sadness, presenting it in the form of brutal honesty — Savage is attempting to persuade the one he loves from walking out of his life despite their differences; ‘you ain’t really like me but my tendencies arrest you / I can hypnotise you like a dream, I’m what you want’. The trademark Nedarb trap-bass rhythm is satisfyingly complimentary to the reflective, soul-stirring vocals.
The total raw energy that radiates from the next track, “16!“, provides the listener with a true insight into the timeline of Brennan’s teenage years and the rocky path into young adulthood. Alongside a woozy, stripped down instrumental, this song is a coming-of-age story within itself and I feel a lot of people would relate to it. Creating big dreams inside of your mind whilst friends and strangers alike try to convince you that you won’t succeed. The Long Beach rapper made his aspirations a reality- even when jealous people repeatedly knocked him back down to square one.
The third song, “Hiding in Plain Sight“, expresses the frustrating feeling of falling for somebody who clings on to a facade; ‘you’re a backseat girl tryna hide in the front’. Combined with a beautifully constructed flow and synth euphony, the lyrics suggest that plenty of individuals from Savage’s prior social experiences have pretended to be something that strays from their true character. Perhaps this is a reference to Los Angeles, a city renowned for fake personas and social climbing; he’s been living there for a solid segment of his life. This song communicates the importance of being real, being yourself, because others will quickly see through your act.
The unique final track, “From a Lonely Place“, is named after the title of the EP itself. This song is an emotion-fuelled personal account of dealing with constant overthinking and paranoia, always wondering how others perceive you – a dangerous game. The atmospheric beat is less trap and more tranquil, complete with the soft strumming of an acoustic guitar which gloomily echoes throughout. Brennan’s vocal talent is very apparent within the pained songwriting: ‘it’s a lonely time when you can hear yourself breathe’. This was the perfect choice of a finale, perhaps interlacing the way many of us are feeling during this particular self-isolating time.
This heavy-hearted mix is extremely easy to connect with; lashes of sentimentality flow from each track. Although the run-time is comparatively shorter than others on the Brennan Savage discography, there is no need for it to be lengthened. The four tracks alone are so well-produced thanks to Nedarb, and the delivery of each song is faultless. This EP will undoubtedly be stuck on replay for the next few weeks. 4/5.