Kimya Dawson is a quirky lo-fi folk singer and Aesop Rock is a dexterous and dense rapper. The two have collaborated before, but Hokey Fright is their first full length album together.
This pairing makes sense because these two artists each have a conversational wisdom in their work. There’s a positivity to what they do: despite the heaviness of topics such as death, and not just the concept of death, but specific and personal examples involving someone one’s own age.
The early songs of Young Galaxy are slow-burners, lots of feedback and echo and space. But even then, they’ve always sounded like they secretly wanted to accompany the end credits of a John Hughes teen drama. To be the poignant punctuation to some grand statement about something that a lot of adults go on to realize wasn’t so grand after all. The great achievement of a good pop song is that it can say in three and a half minutes what might take 90 minutes in a film.