Ghostpoet: I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep review

Fri, May 1, 2020, 05:00


I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep


Play It Again Sam

Hip-Hop & Rap

Obaro Ejimiwe may have written and recorded his fifth album well before the current circumstances, but its release in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic seems particularly prescient. Described by the Londoner as “a dystopian snapshot of the universal unease and anxiety we feel as we enter into this new decade”, the follow-up to 2017’s Dark Days + Canapes continues the same thread of portentous soothsaying practised on that record. This time, there’s added paranoia and politics.

Ejimiwe ruminates on the hollowness of social media on songs like Concrete Pony and Social Lacerations (“Pick at my bones, I won’t need them, neither /Selfie away, make sure you use all the filters”) and mental health on Humana Second Hand. Meanwhile, there are clever allusions to Brexit and the Windrush controversy on Rats in a Sack (“Britain’s on a mission, humans in a daze, far right on the jukebox”).

The loungey basslines, freeform jazz, trip-hop and sci-fi soundtrack rarely deviates, but Ghostpoet’s expressive, syrupy voice is compelling, occasionally supplemented by a variety of female voices including French artist SaraSara on This Trainwreck of a Life. This isn’t what exactly you might call a feelgood record, but Ghostpoet’s observances remain both meaningful and increasingly relevant.

Download: Concrete Pony, Black Dog Got Silver Eyes