Powfu isn't perfect nor does he pretend to have all the answers. In his debut breakout hit, the beabadoobee-assisted "death bed (coffee for your head)," the 21-year-old Vancouver artist grapples with mortality with a naïve yet vulnerable candor. It is little surprise that the sentiment resonated with so many, soon becoming an international hit thanks to TikTok and a career-defining moment for the home-produced artist.
poems of the past builds on that initial breakout moment to build the foundation for an artist more than capable of capturing the lo-fi musings of an internet-bred generation. Featuring six tracks, including the aforementioned breakout hit and a reimagining of said single featuring none other than blink-182, Powfu showcases a musical range that takes its cue from punk, lo-fi hip-hop, and bedroom pop.
Where Powfu differentiates himself from his nearest self-produced cohorts is the implementation of his wide range of influences. In "popular girl, typical boy," he delivers a stumbling confession over an interpolation of the "Great Fairy's Fountain" theme from The Legend of Zelda. Yet, seconds later he is joined by blink-182 for a surprisingly sincere reimagining of "death bed." Taken together, the moment speaks to a far-too common teenage reality, of spending hours listening to blink-182 and saving Hyrule from the forces of Ganon. Powfu spoke further on his major label debut, sharing,
"The six songs on this EP are some of my favorites that I've ever recorded. I had a lot of fun experimenting with different features and sounds, and I hope everyone finds their own favorite song on it, whether they like hip-hop, punk, lo-fi or bedroom pop. Some of these songs were written about my own personal past, some are romantic stories I wanted to tell, but now they're for the fans to interpret for themselves."
By no means, is poems of the past a perfect body of work. It is the sonic portrait of an artist sharing his childhood past and trying to make sense of the stories in heads, blemishes and all. However, in sharing every ounce of himself, what Powfu does deliver with his debut EP is a deeply human one sure to strike a chord.
Listen to poems of the past below: