by Thomas Bedward December 30, 2020
For the past few months, Las Vegas native and rising rap artist Aleister has been teasing us with glimpses of his sophomore album, releasing wave after wave of impressive electronic-inspired singles, most of which have ended up on our playlists and radio station. With each new single, Aleister has grown bolder, and the move he has improved, the more impressed we’ve become, so when news came that he was about to release his sophomore album, we couldn’t be more excited.
A spiritual and stylistic successor to his eponymous record, which was released earlier this year, ‘Gaslight’ sees the twenty-five-year-old at the top of his game, blending sharp RnB melodies with visceral rap cuts, and pulling no punches throughout. Delving into his personal life and offering a maelstrom of cathartic moments, ‘Gaslight’ sees Aleister finding his way through adulthood, leaving behind toxic relationships, and truing to find new life after all the chaos. A rare release that offers both upbeat, adventurous tracks, radio friendly RnB anthems, and stormy, introspective singles, it’s a perfect introduction to Aleister for the uninitiated, as well as a powerful illustration of his ever-expanding style.
Opening the new record is the slow-paced RnB epic of ‘California’, a sentimental synth-driven release that ebbs and flows with an enchanting, staggered melody. Featuring immersive cuts and a constantly shifting focus, it’s a track that revels in emotive, wandering sounds and comes complete with a bold feature by fresh-faced newcomer JayKub. After a ruminating outro, ‘Gaslight’ dives into the nuanced, shimmering sounds of the title track and the sharp minimalist beats of ‘Westbound’ and ‘Shallow’, before ending it all with the evocative lo-fi textures of ‘Mr. Big Weld’, a dark horse that explores some less than saintly thoughts and stark adulterous adventures on Instagram.
An album that reveals more of itself with every repeat listen, there is a subtle sense of magic within each track, and while they all hold firm to a dark, rolling slow-trap aesthetic, every song, even the short intermissions and brief reprises hold firm to their own sense of self. Definitely a defining moment in Aleister’s career, there’s an undercurrent of DIY style that makes it far more authentic and visceral than many of the mainstream rap releases you’ll hear in the charts.
Available now on Spotify, ‘Gaslight’ is a rare and wonderfully intoxicating release, one that will have you coming back to it time and time again. Understated and perfectly formed, its arguably one of the finest independent releases of its kind, pushing boundaries and uncovering hard truths that we can all relate to. An album that proves Aleister’s talents beyond any shadows of a doubt, ‘Gaslight’ is the triumphant sound of an artist that’s well and truly on the rise.
You can tune into ‘Gaslight’ above, along with Aleister’s debut record on Spotify, and be sure to follow him on Instagram so you never miss a beat.
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