Playlist of the Week: Let’s Start Here

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Lil Yachty’s Brilliant Debut into Psychedelic Rock

In late January, Platinum recording artist Lil Yachty made an entrance into psychedelic rock with the release of his fifth studio album, Let’s Start Here. While a somewhat surprising venture to fans who best know Lil Yachty for his success in traditional hip-hop and rap, the album is a new revelation in psychedelic rock. Each track draws influence from a range of seminal psychedelic rock artists and albums; most prevalently, Pink Floyd’s 1973 classic, Dark Side of the Moon. The resemblance is immediately clear from the first track of the album, “the BLACK Seminole,” which directly harks back to the melody of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe (In the Air).” Fuzzy yet clean, often minute-long guitar solos and echoing background effects not only pay homage to Pink Floyd but also evoke another—and somewhat unlikely—70s sound, the folksy melodies of Fleetwood Mac’s early discography, specifically their 1971’s “Future Games.”

   The addition of funky basslines and drum beats on other tracks like “running out of time” and “drive ME crazy!” pays homage to the soul classics of the same era, while some of the tracks, like “the ride-”, wander into the realm of modern psychedelic pop and funk, reminiscent of Tame Impala or Thundercat. Even with all of these influences and mix of styles, the dreamy vocals and lyrical artistry present in every song on the album are distinctly characteristic of Lil Yachty—and he draws them all together in his own beautiful style, not only demonstrating his mastery of a new genre but his famous versatile prowess as a genre-defying recording artist. His joy and willingness to honor his influences while pioneering new sounds are evident throughout the album, making it a perfect listen to kick off a new semester. — Isabelle Williams


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