Minneapolis Rhymesayers duo Atmosphere have been rather quiet-like as of late, but that’s all changed thanks to their new single “Trying to Fly.” The track features keyboard and vocal work from their fellow Minnesotan Eric Mayson, a multi-instrumentalist whose “Detail” EP was one of the finest indie R&B releases of late 2015. Perhaps inspired by Mayson, Slug opts for a borderline-crooner approach on the new single, blending melodic runs and a slower flow over Ant‘s smooth production.
This is almost some downright downtempo, even. Moody, phaser-soaked keyboards and a dry live drum beat gently fade in as the track unfurls, recalling some of the mid-90s work of Portishead, Massive Attack, and Tricky. (Be sure not to miss that dead-on Phil Collins drum fill halfway through). “And I don’t even know why I can’t hold on to a word that you say,” Slug emotes. “Trying to Fly” is a downtrodden look at a friend, lover, or even ex-lover who’s no longer there the way they oghtta be. Mayson delivers the perfect falsetto counterpoint to Slug’s bars, and the entire thing ends up sounding like a late winter night in the Twin Cities–slightly dark and still plenty cold.
Listen to Atmosphere’s new single below and be on the lookout for new musings from the Minneapolis duo coming soon.