by Tiana Feng


Release Date: October 22nd, 2013
Label: Last Gang Records

Ryan Hemsworth’s music were given birth via the internet. He embraces the ability to release music instantly and has demonstrated a relatively fast turnover. In 2013, he has already released the Still Awake EP. On Guilt Trips, Hemsworth aimed to make it more personal, less club anthem.

“Small + Lost” guest stars Sinead Harnett, who provides her smooth vocals which juxtapose the addictive chaos of keys and percussion down below.Each song on Guilt Trips has its own mood. “Weird Life” is a bit of a fantasy, utilizing vocables in a way that sounds almost like Grimes. “Still Cold” creates a chilly atmosphere with dissonant synths. The lyrics, sung by chillwave musician “Baths” are amusing: “It’s almost funny that you’re still so cold / What are you Taylor swift?”. “Happiness & Dreams Forever” aren’t the rainbows you’d expect from reading the title. There’s a sense of paranoia and then the repetitive, “please don’t trust me”, which recalls the album’s title. “Ryan Must Be Destroyed” brings to mind his public love of video games. The symbol crashes recollecting boss fight battles.

“Day/Night/Sleep System” shows Hemsworth’s genius in employing the right guests. Haleek Maul & Kitty (formerly Kitty Pryde), Tumblr stars themselves, perform a smokey rap duet decorated by deeper bass and high synths. Cacophony leads up to the closing line, “I might want you, but I need a detox.” Throughout the album, Hemsworth purposely leaves out the low end of the bass, so that everything above it – wobbles, synths, percussion, guests – can swoon you instead.