There has been a fair amount of hype surrounding 070 Shake. Born Danielle Balbuena, the New Jersey–bred artist has earned praise from the likes of Kanye West and The 1975, and her highly-anticipated debut album does more than make good on that initial praise and signs of promise. Modus Vivendi arrives as a breathtaking amalgamation of disparate influences, conflicted feelings, and multidimensional soundscapes.
Modus Vivendi is an album unrestrained not just by genre constraints but by time itself. 070 Shake presents a vision that is as futuristic as it is an ode to the experimental nature of ‘70s psych-rock and ‘80s new wave. At first glance, you may think that the desire to constantly explore newfound territory at every possible moment may result in an incohesive outing, but not once throughout Modus Vivendi’s 14-track run does that thought bubble to the surface.
In the span of 44 minutes, 070 Shake constantly reinvents herself without ever losing sight of herself. It is why a track like the phenomenal “Guilty Conscience,” with its shimmering foundation of space-age synths, can flow perfectly into the intoxicating tribal drums of “Microdosing” without ever losing its footing. No matter what far corners of space or time Modus Vivendi may venture to, 070 Shake’s effortless and light-as-air vocal range is there to hold it all together, to guide us in this journey. Balbuena spoke further on her creative process and vision, sharing,
“I just really go with how I feel in the moment, and then that’s where the writing comes from. It’s like an ongoing disperse of words when I feel something. I want it to make a change in the world. The agenda is bigger than just music.”
Existentialism, intangibility, and the fleeting nature of all things build the cornerstones of not just an impeccable debut but what is poised to be one of the year’s best hip-hop albums. By no accounts does Modus Vivendi claim to or masquerade as easy listening. Rather, it demands and expects your attention at each and every turn, and 070 Shake is an artist who deserves your attention.
Listen to Modus Vivendi below: