Long Eaton rapper and poet Alice Short is a remarkably talented wordsmith. Her 2017 aN EP iN a dAY EP wonderfully deconstructed gender, identity, and the challenge of channeling creativity through the tedium of everyday life. March’s Collect Your Thoughts single utilised calculated instrumentation and carefully constructed bars to chastise that feeling of not being able to get your thoughts out. With her latest track Estranged, that skill for deliberate lyricism is put to tremendous use in a lo-fi rallying cry for music and the arts.
It’s a message we can all get behind. In a recent NG Digital podcast, Short wondered aloud why music and art are always the first to get cut, commenting on the stigma attached to pursuing a career in the industry and how it can push people into things they’re not interested in. Instead, the arts should be celebrated, and that’s precisely what Estranged is: written for a friend feeling the pressure from those around them to get a normal job (but only recently given a beat by Short’s new producer), the track champions anyone and everyone who embraces the arts.
In typical Alice Short style, the conduit for such praise comes in the form of chilled-out rap backed by deliciously dizzying instrumentation. Short’s vocals and her backing beat bounce off each other effortlessly, the track’s lyrics carrying a level of exasperation not only with the stigma around the arts but with the pressure to act in a certain way because of someone else (‘And they say they know better, but honestly they’re no better’), even as the instrumentation’s upbeat vibe brings a level of hope for the future. As ever, Short is confident in her delivery throughout, so although the track isn’t long, there’s never a moment where you’re not captivated by the beat, the bars, or the significance of the song’s themes.
2018 looks to be a big year for Alice Short, her social media channels teasing that Collect Your Thoughts and Estranged are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come from the terrifically talented rapper and poet. With Estranged, she has coolly brought a weighty but necessary issue to the limelight, and I can’t wait to see where she goes next.
Alice Short Estranged is available to stream now on Spotify.
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