Emyne offers advice and introspection on new project '21-keep it.' - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Multifaceted musician Emyne is a singer, songwriter, poet, rapper, activist, and generally charismatic presence on the local scene. After first catching our attention at ILL DOOTS’ tribute to The Roots Things Fall Apart, and releasing two stellar projects — Purple and Golden — last year, Emyne made 2021 a largely low-key year as far as their recorded output.

But with the recent birthday-timed release of 21-keep it., Emyne offered some explanation: “21 been the hardest … but the album go harder.” The four-song project plays like an introspective collection of reflections on life experiences, as well as a note-to-self and note-to-anyone-who’s-been-there.

“772” gets the set started with a slow groove and gentle keys. Emyne sings equally of estranged lovers, as well as those who loyally help you through tribulations, and of the cosmic self: “If the stars are in my eyes, I guess my mind is the sky.” It glides into the pensive piano loop of “Blue Whip,” which is all about self-discovery and growth (with a sweet beat drop along the way); “I really miss the old me,” Emyne sings, but their eagerness to get to know the new one is clear.

The bongo beat and soaring, SZA-esque vocals of the freestyle “big e’s island” takes the listener to a space of healing — “I just wanna feel better,” Emyne hums — while the closing “wormhole” is back in the meditative zone, with a scrap metal beat and descending piano melody as the words paint pictures of a rising Phoenix: “Live like you’ve got something inside you worth dying for.”

Listen to 21-keep it. below, and explore Emyne’s discography on Bandcamp here.

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