(photo credit: guy dekel)
Tel-Aviv artist AGAT has released her new album, With The Incrowd, and it’s truly ground-breaking. Her incredibly creative imagination has helped her produce this trans-genre body of work by taking several modern genres, mashing them together and warping them around, and the result is her very own unique sound that is very hard to label. But that doesn’t matter; it sounds amazing.
Relationship Belly goes hard. And I mean hard. This track features the similarly genre-defying rapper, Pink Siifu. It starts with some light, flowery piano sounds, and picks up some momentum when the impactful drumbeat begins alongside some relatively high-pitched vocals by AGAT. At about 43 seconds, the vocals become lower-pitched, and the mood takes a turn and becomes more hard-hitting and serious. At about 1 minute 10 seconds, Pink Siifu starts rapping with ominous, electronic sounds in the background. These types of sound effects are a recurring feature of the sonic journey of this album, always used perfectly and always sounding fresh.
Wait For Me features some of the deepest bass sounds I’ve ever heard; the fuzzy, heavy bass parts sound like they’ve come from below the deepest, darkest ocean. They might’ve come from hell. That’s how deep it sounds. An impressive feature from American rapper, ZeelooperZ, further shows how well AGAT collaborates with other artists. ZeelooperZ’s unique rapping style adds a whole new vibe to this track, making it even more fascinating.
One of the characteristics of this album is the electronic string arrangements, which is the very first thing we hear on the album, at the start of the intro track Germs. This dazey sound, as well as the hard and heavy drums, makes me think of some of Jockstrap’s songs. This duo also uses similar methods to create their own other-worldly music, and AGAT has done a similar thing here. AGAT has used it differently, however, as her music is much more direct and in your face.
The first track to come out as a single prior to the album release was Incrowd, which was a wise choice as this song does a wonderful job of summing up what AGAT’s all about. Her unusual, attention-grabbing vocal style is brilliant in this song as she essentially talks her way through the lyrics in a moody, mysterious way for almost three minutes. She then showcases her impressive range with some passionate singing; she really belts out “face down, it’s coming!” and the rest of this section of the tune.
We also hear AGAT’s jaw-dropping singing voice in Liar Reprise, showing us she can do much more than her talking-style that we hear in other songs. Celebration, the last tune on the album, shows the softer side of her voice too, as she tunefully tells us about emotional struggles with less sound effects in the background.
The album ends on an emotional note with a much lighter, softer song. Celebration takes your imagination to a quiet, empty room, sat alone on a tired Sunday morning, self-reflecting. Lyrics such as “what if tomorrow would feel the same shit?” and “but today I’m mad, mad makes me sad” do a good job of bringing forward topics already mentioned in the album, but bringing them to the surface and laying them bare, without the loud music that usually comes with such lyrics. This song is honest, vulnerable, and refreshing. What a way to end a fantastic rollercoaster of an album.
With the Incrowd is an album that keeps you on the very tip of your toes and the very edge of your seat. Start to finish, there is absolutely nothing you can see coming, and this unpredictability is exactly what we need more of in modern music.