On his debut album GOODGRIEF, singer/songwriter and genre-bender 93FEETOFSMOKE rallies against life’s rough patches via blistering DIY sonics. The album’s title might signal a tinge of melancholy but to the artist, just like the ten-song tracklist, are a source of strength and optimism too.
“My grandma used to always say, ‘Oh Jiminy Cricket, good grief,'” he explained. “On one hand, it’s an ode to her. It’s nostalgic, because it reminds me of my childhood, but it also speaks to the project.” GOODGRIEF is as much about navigating said grief but also recognizing its cathartic value.
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Album opener “Fucked Over” sums up that idea within its quaking soundscape as (feat. guardin) laments his bad luck in life and love. And he’s not alone — the album’s features see a ton of collaborations — but here 93FEETOFSMOKE is joined by luminous vocalist Phem and Tosh the Drummer. “It’s like a thousand degrees inside my head / Burning with words we left unsaid,” the alt-pop singer Phem coos.
Elsewhere he joins forces with Kamiyada+ on the power-punk “Oh Nah Oh Nah” as he wrestles with lost friends and a sense that he’s been cursed. Then there are the heady rock hammerings of “Nightmare” (feat. guardin), a blitzing and anthemic track that keeps that album’s dour tone even as it gushes romantically.
On “Hurt Like It Did” some healing begins not coincidentally when the screaming begins: howling away in the song’s stripped-down soundscape about receding pain. While “Silver Lining” finds a different reason for hope — over head-banging waves of rushing drums he muses: “I don’t think we need to wait for storms to see silver linings.”
Of all that shines through on his debut, 93FEETOFSMOKE’s sincere songwriting and the vast intersection of influences he sits at are some of the more thrilling. Heavily influenced by the underground hip-hop, punk, and club scenes there is a rawness to both his lyricism and production that is voraciously forthright. If you’re looking for more music by 93FEETOFSMOKE he’s got plenty of early singles, as well as a number of EPs out like Quantumountain and 6Speed.
“It’s a big twist of culture,” he explains. “My music is the intersection of skateboarding, fashion, the Crunk-era, and pop punk. It’s all uncut and unfiltered. I’m not trying to control everything and make it perfect and pristine. It’s a less-perfect vision of everything. It’s important for me to allow things to be the way they are. It’s real.”
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