This month, alternative hip-hop artist Willie Main dropped his latest project, “y.” Over seven tracks, the Chicagoan crafts a soundscape basked in sunlight, melting through the dead of winter. Main employs layers of synths, moody keys, and the occasional saxophone to soundtrack his stream of consciousness songwriting style. He also tends to use his voice as part of the overall composition instead of the lead feature of each song, trading lyrics for scats and switching up his flows to fit his beats more precisely. The result is a cohesive sounding project that plays like one extended moment of nostalgia.
One of the highlights on “y” is the track “goes.” Over constantly building production, Main’s deep vocals sound right at home on this brooding, drug-infused moment of solace. “goes” is followed by my personal favorite, “rhythm makes me.” After a full minute of instrumental bliss powered by what sounds like a steel drum, Main’s voice enters the mix on this triumphant closing song.
Listen to Willie Main’s “y” below, and check out his show at The Elbo Room on Jan. 4 if you like what you hear.