William Austin Clay has manifested his own little corner in the music scene of the internet, releasing tons of projects on Bandcamp and Soundcloud spanning all sorts of genres. This year he decided to switch things up and is now releasing music as Yalc123. Yalc Nitsua Mailliw is a perfect look at the artistry that William Austin Clay has been developing throughout the years. The mixtures of pop and hip-hop as well as elements of indie rock make this album an extremely infectious listen. Yalc123’s debut project has some of the most accessible experimental hip-hop songs to date.
On the surface of it all, Yalc Nitsua Mailliw feels so simple. The melodies, synths, beats, and basslines all work together so beautifully. One cannot deny how catchy these songs can be. “Saturday w/ U” starts with a guitar melody that makes for the perfect pop love-song. There is a great harmony between the bass and synths in “Free Throw,” which details the end of a close basketball game. The song that seems the most infectious is “Copy + Paste.” Despite the simplicity on the surface, there is so much more to this album. It is very difficult to pinpoint what it is, but there is so many esoteric and mysterious elements in this album. No matter what kind of music fan you might be, this album will definitely intrigue you and leave you wanting to listen more.
Yalc123 discussed his approach with this album on Bandcamp. Not only was this the longest he has ever worked on a single project, but he also wrote his songs differently. “Typically, I’ll compose melodies and lyrics after I’ve produced the beat for a track but I chose to work ‘backwards’ this time around, starting off with a melody, then writing lyrics and a chord progression.” One can easily notice this focus on melody and chord progressions. Don’t get me wrong—plenty of hip-hop artists create their beats before any melodies or chords and make some amazing songs, including a lot of William Austin Clay’s earlier discography. However, Yalc123 mixed it up this time and has provided a new look for hip-hop that a lot of other artists (JPEGMAFIA, Father, etc.) have been achieving as well.
Yalc123’s approach on this album resulted in some very enjoyable and refreshing rap songs that deserve a lot of love and attention. One can imagine a world where a lot of the songs on this album became big hits on the radio, and I think it’s time to make that world a reality.
Recommended If You Like: William Austin Clay, Father, JPEGMAFIA
Recommended Tracks: 6 (Copy + Paste), 2 (Free Throw), 3 (Saturday w/ U), 1 (Been Done Gone)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Griffin Lowry on 07/29/2020