Today marks the release of Aries' debut project, WELCOME HOME, and from its very opening moments, it is immediately apparent why the enigmatic artist is currently gracing the cover of Spotify's Anti-Pop playlist (a spot previously held by America's favorite boyband, BROCKHAMPTON). In his debut album, Aries does more than simply make his way through nine phenomenal tracks, each more striking than the last – he infuses each step forward with an expanse of influences, inspirations, and artistic fervor.
Attempting to classify Aries and WELCOME HOME in many ways feels like a fool's errand. There is the fusion of late-stage emo and hip-hop production that serves as a connective thread yet dig a little deeper, and you will find the simultaneously sun-drenched and grunge-reminiscent guitar strumming in tracks like "PONY" and the previously released "SANTA MONICA." More than just a musical chameleon, WELCOME HOME defines Aries as an artist capable of taking any amount of presumably discordant production and instrumentation elements and bending them to his will.
More than just a masterclass in stirring production, WELCOME HOME also serves as a brilliant illustration of Aries' innate gift at lyricism. With verses that flow out like the words are coming to him in the very moment, the enigmatic producer and artist finds himself weaving through exhilarating highs and devastating lows. Nowhere is this more apparent than in WELCOME HOME's opening and closing moments.
"BAD NEWS" and "HOME," the debut project's respective opening and closing tracks, could not be more diametrically opposed. The former sees Aries narrating a blacked-out tale of trying to let go atop blown-out production that is not lacking wit. Meanwhile, the stripped-back piano ballad "HOME," a deeply personal account of familial relations and suffering with depression, arrives in stark contrast to the rest of WELCOME HOME's hip-hop flavored indulgences. And in spite of all that, from "BAD NEWS" to his final departure in "HOME," WELCOME HOME indisputably succeeds in showcasing Aries' newfound place in the music world; it is a scene that, like the best of anti pop artists, he has carved out for himself.
Listen to WELCOME HOME below:
For more on Aries, revisit the first time we discovered anti pop's new star.