Xander & Emptyvoid offer a unique hybrid of hip-hop, rap, and alt rock with the intense trip of “Crawl Alone”. Lyrically masterful the song taps into a sense of defiance, of rising above one’s circumstances. The duo proves to be incredible storytellers employing just the right level of poetry within the swirling arrangements. Full of passion the vocals come straight from the heart with a clear-eyed intensity. Everything about it simply stuns right down the polished production values courtesy of Ramenqwerty, whose deft hand results in the careful balance between hip-hop and rock.
Stylistically, the sound feels highly reminiscent of early 90s alt rock. When I listened to this, I remembered those bands I grew up with, from the dazed haze of Soundgarden to the emotive delivery of Nirvana. By updating the sound with just the right number of electronic flourishes, skittering percussion alongside graceful guitar gestures the entire track possesses a great soulfulness that matches perfectly with the reflective introspective tenor of the lyricism. Never rushing anything, the duo works to develop the atmosphere. Highly catchy the way that they ensure the textures evolve gives it a timeless, highly tasteful air. The buildup of the piece further emphasizes the yearning to rise above one’s own circumstances.
Opening with careful, nimble guitar work various effects filter into the mix. Things truly begin with the thoughtful lyricism that serves as the heart and center of the entire piece. Sung from experience of a life lived to the absolute fullest, the way that the track unfolds shows off an almost geometric precision. Letting the vocals flow into a singular unified whole helps to give it a strong sense of purpose while it grows in strength and power.
Distortion proves to be a critical element within the work. Coming into the fray at just the right moments they further emphasize the desire to be better, to improve, and to not look back. Such an intense focus on the self is often crucial in changing one’s direction in life. Beats hit in just the right way, nicely merging with the rock framework. At times even going into a sort of trap rhythm, the entirety of the piece feels like gazing into a future of optimism, of knowing that one’s efforts will truly make a difference. For the finale it all neatly comes together in a fantastic bloom of color, of rhythm and riff.
With “Crawl Alone” Xander & Emptyvoid delves into a spirit of true optimism, of making it on one’s own.