At 21-years-old, Filipino/African-American artist Jelani Aryeh‘s debut album, I’ve Got Some Living To Do, belies something of a promise in its title. “For a lot of kids my age,” Aryeh explained. “I see that we numb ourselves in order to carry on with our lives.” Perseverance is a valuable virtue but it’s just as important how you persevere. Aryeh’s new record provides a space for those listening to step back from their worlds — from whatever pain that might be forcing them into a state of numbness — to give them time to truly absorb and understand those moments.
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Tracks like “Bad Nights” dwell in the confusion and anguish just long enough to recreate the memory, one spaciously erected in its lush electronica soundscape; while the almost giddily buoyant beat of pop-banger “Overexposed” attempts to hide its intense fears of self-doubt and vulnerability, even as a cautionary tale against the noise social media brings into our lives. It’s the voracious introspection of the album, Aryeh’s ability to look so piercingly into himself and his generation, giving voice to the reasons behind our anxious race to get beyond the traumas of the past.
Both on the funky-shuffle of “The Millenium Express” and driving indie-rock jammer “From These Heights,” Aryeh details the road he took to get where he is now, stretching the sporadic scenes of his life across dreamily elastic melodies that bend and crack and beam with his long for life. On the eponymous album closer, Aryeh broods wearily: “I’m sinking through the floor,” lamenting over the track’s haunting medley of piano, choir echoes, and concussive bass.
Between its guitar-driven ethics which lead it across a terrain of indie-psych-noise-glam-folk rock and its desperately honest lyricism, Aryeh’s third record I‘ve Got Some Living To Do is another stellar entry into his young discography.
Listen to Jelani Aryeh’s new album I’ve Got Some Living To Do below!