With all that has permeated the past two years, it is impossible to not see change. Not just health wise, but in society, literature, art, and everything else humans surround themselves by. What is important is to use that energy to be creative, recognize what the mistakes are and progress to a prophesized better tomorrow. Cue Subconscious Culture, with a summary of change-but with a collection of cathartic tracks in What Separates Us.
That little alumni speech might not have been necessary on any other day, but Subconscious Culture ignited a spark that was long gone. Their tracks are content that are lyrically heavy and yet a great jam. The proverbs are clear, they know who should hear it and they’ve composed it in seamless sequiturs.
As the Intro prepares us for a psychedelic rap-rock ride, I must warn you-these songs are political. The artists are involved in their community and want to witness change that is a long time coming. And a change is going to come.
Find Your Way clubs Subconscious Culture with the talented Laryssa Birdseye, who provides melodic relief while Erin Miller lays down the bars for you to weigh. With just the piano & drums for the opening, the saxophone eases in later, creating a balance with the wind instruments and strings. As you’re on a path to change, you need to find a way through all the distractions, and that’s what SC & Laryssa deliver with profound simplicity.
Concerning Karen-killing misinformation
Remember that string of annoying, racist, entitled, rude clowns that dominate Instagram & Facebook because of the way they behave? Karens? Well, this song Concerning Karen is clearly meant for them, & though it might not even reach any of those anchors to society, we can appreciate the message. Exhausted with their concerning attitude, Erin Miller schools them on change, and to either stand for progress or just get out of the way. Smartly compiled lyrics and perfect delivery. Also, a very catchy chorus for a song that is about these dumb speed breakers.
Impermanence- in time
To not lose the momentum they’ve garnered, at halfway through the album they talk about Impermanence. The true nature of time itself, of what exists and doesn’t. As it is a heavy topic to dive into, just a soft piano section with muted drums creates a rhythmic vortex for the truth to be launched out into sonic space. The violin slides in too, with Sarah Wild using her powerful voice to be the melodic showstopper. A heavy and contemplative divide.
Pieces of Me-the old meets the new
Pieces of Me drops you back in the emotional cage of change with a powerful track. SC collaborate with Michael Kay & RXN for another symphonic lecture- marking change with their deep chorus section that is an emotional discourse. With the Sam Cooke flavor, adding new to the old- SC connects halves of music that never were the same vehicle but participated in the same race.
Something Between Us- why the tone
The next track opens with a sweet guitar tone that should be chased for real depth in the track. Salvatore Manalo & Eric Miller proceed to teach you something that is known with Something Between Us, but it just sounds better in a song. The melodic interchanges before the rap section comes is a fresh take on this seemingly different genre. A true platform of respect is created between the instrumentals & vocals-refreshing to see.
What Separates Us- the titular track
Prepare to nod to the catchy groove of What Seperates Us. The answer? Seemingly meaningless stuff but humanity doesn’t seem to cope well with positive change. Crafting a broadway style musical in this format, the chorus and bridge section are interesting scene segues before the rap drives in again. A nuanced & smart collaborate between Swamburger & SC.
World of Illusion-a divine conclusion
The finale is World of Illusion, a great conclusion to a stellar album. It lacks nothing, just carries the message with style and rhythm, the way music was supposed to. With the last track, they ask you to dissect the little things in life & just be good to each other. You know why? Life’s an illusion.
I won’t question why the tracks are of a certain length or why they’re being released clubbed together. The intention is clear, and the messages are too. If you’re ignorant to change, just don’t hinder progress. Also, just live with breathtaking gratitude, cause it all might just vanish someday. To what is permanent-art like What Separates Us.