“Content” is reassurance in a time of turmoil, a guiding light towards the glitzy, autotune drenched future of the post-rap metagame.
Sg Lily’s latest album “Content” is, like many of its peers, rough around the edges but internally luminescent. Lily’s approach to creating songs is to put melody and creativity at the core, frenziedly throwing other elements into orbit. Naturally not all of the album is so inventive, but all of it is at the least pleasant. It’s a loose handful of dancehall, experimental pop, drum and bass, and the ill-defined aesthetic known as “alternative”, all cast upon a blank slate best represented by the project’s mostly empty Spotify artwork.
“All” opens the project at its most euphoric, and sees Sg Lily enlist With3r for production. Massive electric kick drums permeate and dominate the sonic field, with moments of levity filled by Lily’s spacey chorus, his only contribution to the track. Despite a brief appearance on his own album’s opener Lily leaves a lasting impression – he’s got a real talent for short but impactful refrains. “Walk Me Home” is similar, Lily softly sings the title over enormous spikes of synthetic sound. These tracks are as calming as they are adrenal, they evoke the serenity that arises when one surrenders themselves to chaos, and for their explorations of this concept they are highlights amongst the other tracks.
Exploration is at the heart of Sg Lily’s approach to collaboration. The feature list is stacked with vocalists and producers specialising in the same brand of futuristic pop. On the fourth track, “Over”, Tonser races past Lily’s sleepy delivery with a passionate and malleable performance, backed by his own harmonisations. Lily cedes production to Opal on “Sunny”, breaking up the overwhelmingly pristine melancholy of the prior tracks with a dancehall inspired beat. Tuchscreen adds a sweet (if brief) verse too, elevating the track’s carefree tone with high-pitched whispers. On “Sunny”, however, it’s as if Lily’s vocals do not fully integrate with the instrumental as they do on “All” or “Burn” – this is a minor detail, but when other tracks on the same tape feel so seamless the ones with presentational faults stick out, however small.
Most of “Content” is not as engaging as its opener, but is instead readily consumable, bright, and inoffensive. As actual rapping becomes less and less emphasised in the underground scene “Content” is a bridge into what comes next. It feels familiar quickly, by the third listen many will know the project inside out, but this accessibility serves a purpose. “Content” is a welcoming introduction to a world where light and sound are the same, where melody and lyricism are the same. It’s a prediction of a future that’s already arrived.
Listen to “Content” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)