It feels weird saying this because Aesop Rock has been pretty active these past few years, but the underground legend is finally preparing to release a new solo album following 2012’s Skelethon–no lie, I was surprised it’s been that long, too. Of course, after the release of that album, we got Hokey Fright in 2013 by The Uncluded, Hail Mary Mallon’s Bestiary in 2014, and the Lice EP he released with Homeboy Sandman at the tail-end of 2015 (Lice in particular I think fell under the radar for most). All respectable projects in their own right, but there’s something about a new solo effort that really gets the blood pumping.
Along with the announcement, Aesop also released the album’s first single, “Rings,” which is accompanied by a very unsettling video. As we saw with Skelethon, Aesop Rock continues delving into his personal issues, expressing what can only be understood as regret at the abandonment of other personal pleasures; an interpretation that may become more complex after continued listens. The production presents a very chaotic backdrop, with these eerie synths bouncing all over the place as Rock’s verses slowly build to an almost breathless conclusion. It’s an incredibly interesting tune, and I can’t wait to hear what he has in store for us on The Impossible Kid, which is set to release on April 29, 2016.