If the word “woozy” were an artist, it would be LA-based singer/rapper PawPaw Rod and his latest release, Another PawPaw Rod EP. In a follow-up to last year’s A PawPaw Rod EP, the Oklahoma-born artist, Rodney Hulsey, takes a laid-back approach to his unique fusion of hip-hop and soul. “Message (Better Days),” previously released as the first single off the EP, keeps a healthy balance of melancholic lyrics and an ocean breeze beat. The accompanying visualizer appropriately captures Hulsey’s aesthetic: a sleepwalk on a beachside woe of love.
After relocating to Los Angeles just four years ago, a move that he’s fully adopted thanks to his upbringing as a military child, Hulsey has an apparent knack for melodies that update what was previously accomplished by soul artists of the 60s. “Beautiful” showcases his talent on top of glittery guitars and spaceship bloops. “You got me dancing in my room, okay. You know I had some things to do today…You know I don’t know how to act” are among the most memorable lyrics that have yet to leave my head.
The best track, however, has to be “Lovetap,” which combines melancholy with smooth talking on the most lush song on the EP. Not only does it take the sound established by the two previous tracks, but it expands upon said sound with brass instruments that take it to another level. Hulsey also brings some much welcomed sardonic stoicism to his vocals that juxtapose the sunshine in the beat.
“Shining Star,” the EP’s closer, leaves off on a lighter note, complete with a twinkly instrumental aimed at a special someone. To its strengths, the song keeps with PawPaw Rod and his pop sensibilities, perhaps more so than any other track on the EP. A universally appealing sound such as his will has no trouble garnering more listeners than he’s already amassed from the brief two years spent releasing music.
Words: David Sosa
Another PawPaw Rod EP is now available on all streaming platforms. Tickets to see PawPaw Rod at the Moroccan Lounge in LA on Dec. 14 are available now.