“We want to have the freedom to make the music and the artistic choices that we want. If we can’t have that freedom, we’d rather not put anything out, which is the death of our art”. Insightful and striking, the motto of Freedom or Death is a telling tale of the musical creed of this band.
With their second EP Envy, the Toronto duo, Steve Fernandez and Sway Clarke, passionately deliver an eclectic arrangement of hip-hop, electronica and rock throughout the course of 7 tracks. While sparse in length, the album’s songs are obese with style and sound.
Though thematically aloof at times, Envy is a rich collection of sonic ingenuity that dares to be different. The album’s standout song, “Virginia Woolf”, intercuts confrontational verbal sound bites from the 1966 film ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ with energetic moments of k-os-inspired musicality. While “Inside” summons the essence of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown”, but independently identifies itself through interjecting moments of sensual vocalization, rhythmic guitars, and funky backbeats that seductively enthral the listener’s ears.
It’s a refreshing approach since the sounds incorporated are not simply being used for egotistical intentions, but rather for artistic expression.
Not without its flaws, Envy still remains an uncontaminated, truthful expression of the heart.