22-year-old SpaceMan Zack is the freshest artist currently rising on the grungey hip-hop horizon – and is absolutely somebody that you need to feature in your lockdown playlist. He released his debut album ‘Wicked’ at the beginning of the year which grabbed some well deserved attention, yet his music is still so criminally underrated. Zack’s effortlessly cool aesthetic definitely stands out against the rest, and with brand new emotion-provoking EP ‘Leave Me Alone’ having dropped last month, this 3-tracker holds so much more depth than its mysterious blackout cover.
The solemn introductory track possesses the same name as the EP itself, and is sparked with a low-toned extract of a man talking the listener through the stages of grief after a loved one commits suicide, initialising the dark and sensitive atmosphere of this song. The half-hearted strumming of an acoustic guitar repeatedly echoes concurrently with the sedated, steady trap beat, complimenting Zack’s stirring vocals. This song is particularly soft but simultaneously hard-hitting, the downcast and dejected lyrics truly highlighting this; ‘I wanna die today, I wanna ride away / I wanna hide away, just let me find a place’. ‘Leave Me Alone’ has a very personal aura to it, but despite this, I find that it also feels quite relatable- especially at the moment.
‘Blood’ is a rhythmic and soulful track, and although fairly short at 1 minute 47 seconds, the pretty-sounding melody almost feels never ending. The six-string factor seems to be playing a huge part in Zack’s new music, and I love it – I think it pairs perfectly with the sound of his voice. This second song is like an undressed exposure of built up emotions and possibly the product of overthinking, feeling lost and becoming unable to recognise the reflection in the mirror. Its title is very fitting in that way; blood is what’s underneath, it’s what we’re made up of, but it is unrelated to our identity and our perspective on life. The track tells the story of running, running, trying to find somewhere that you feel you belong and constantly being on the search of a place you can call ‘home’.
The mixtape is dusted off with ‘Back Soon‘, which features a serene backing instrumental combo of bass, reverb and acoustics. The song feels like it could grab a silver shovel and dig up any deep-rooted memory that has been buried for years, with its heavy nostalgic feel and bleak yet promising tune. Zack repeatedly assures the subject of the track, ‘I’m coming back, soon, to you’, which is slightly ambiguous in itself and makes me wonder the true meaning of this line; though the initial thought when paired with the other lyrics is that it possibly shows the drawbacks of being betrayed by somebody you love and questioning both your own trust and sanity. This was the exemplary final finishing note to the record.
In closing, the ‘Leave Me Alone’ EP is a cloudy rendition of heartache and takes us on an unfinished journey of discovering one’s own individualism. As always, SpaceMan Zack has provided his loyal listeners with a straight from the shoulder production and perfectly inked his message within the isolated, blue, poetic beats. 4/5.