CURRENT: Sisyphus – “Rhythm of Devotion”

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By now, Sufjan Stevens is so far removed from his 50 states project that it’s hard to guess what he’s got up his sleeve next. His s/s/s project, renamed Sisyphus in late 2013, is readying the release of their debut LP. Featuring producer Son Lux and rapper Serengeti, the project’s Beak & Claw EP was a confounding listen, more alienating than magnetic. So it’s refreshing that thus far the group’s string of singles hint at a more cohesive whole. The electronica production beautifully frames the composition, with Serengeti’s verses not far removed from the visceral nature of Death Grips. The song’s dramatic switch halfway through, where Sufjan takes over the vocals, nicely juxtaposes the hard-hitting rhymes. A group that was never a necessary addition to Stevens’ discography, Sisyphus is finally beginning to take shape. It helps when each member brings forth an explorative disposition, ready for anything and everything. At song’s end, Serengeti speaks for the group when he raps, “I feel more comfortable now.” We all do.

Sisyphus is out 18 March via Asthmatic Kitty Records / Joyful Noise Recordings.

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