MP3: Sea Ghost x iLoveMakonnen – “Running Away”

Logic dictates that this post focus its attention on Atlanta star-in-the-making iLoveMakonnen. Dude has got the hype machine twisted up in knots, a rabid fanbase, a booming social media presence, and, oh yeah, he just signed to Drake’s OVO Sound. This cat is unequivocally blowing up, and pretty much anything he does right now is going to get reported on, scrutinized and overanalyzed by a bevy of media outlets, all intent on claiming some stake, however minor, in the phenomenon that is Makonnen.

But really I want to focus more on Sea Ghost, a new Atlanta dream-pop act whose members are all in high school and who have yet to play their first show. Talk about a study in opposites. But in all fairness it’s the band that reached out to me via Twitter and let me know about the “Running Away” single. And, according to the FADER, who premiered the track on Thursday, the group was also the one who instigated the collaboration by emailing some tracks to Makonnen, who was impressed enough by what he heard to drive out to Marietta and cut this single.

And make no mistake, it’s Makonnen’s vocals that form the point of emphasis on the track. His singing is a mix between semi-detatched crooning and half-distorted rumblings that starts off a little goofy, but eventually settles into something compelling and forceful. Instrumentally, however, the most impressive thing is the variety of approaches Sea Ghost adopts. Over the course of five dynamic minutes the band swerves fairly smoothly from stripped-down hip-hop to revved-up rock to atmospheric pop to more experimental electronic grooves. It’s not as polished as you might expect from a joint featuring Makonnen, but that’s not exactly a surprise given the circumstances of the collaboration. The reality is that Sea Ghost has yet to even release a record (word is their debut EP will drop next month) and they’ve already made significant inroads into the blogosphere at large. Whether or not they’re a flash in the pan remains to be seen, but for now it’s safe to say these kids have our full attention.

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