EKKSTACY's 'misery' Is the Soundtrack to Your Nihilist Fantasy
EKKSTACY is 1/1. Originally launching out of the blogosphere with a forgotten sound. Sensitively weaving the very best elements of Elliot Smith, Lil Peep, Joy Division, and more, I vividly recall the first time I was exposed to the now-cult hit “i walk this earth all by myself.” I was hiding out in Merida, Mexico, stalling the second intense wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, living day to day as a sanctified beatnik with a scrupulous amount of anonymity—mesmerized yet again by how music has the capacity to soundtrack life. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one who experienced this magical phenomenon.
Several best new artists nods, a high profile appearance in the Pigeons and Planes compilation album See You Next Year, an international headlining tour, and now an incredible debut album have followed since I first heard EKKSTACY’s zen-brand of macabre music, which tediously walks a sonic tightrope of doom on one end, and a peculiar amount of enlightenment on the other. His newest album, misery is a flawless Geronimo leap into the broader horizons of his psyche.
A standout track, and an early favorite on “misery” is the brilliantly ambivalent "im so happy." On the record, EKKSTACY sings “But the flowers in my soul are getting old.” Tantamount to being depressed on a sunny day, the song's prevalent theme is that of happiness just being ever so slightly out of reach. It sounds blasphemous, and I never dare utter the words “Kurt Cobain," but there is a remarkable similarity in timbre. Another standout track is the closer, “ausgang,” featuring herhexx—who is also featured on the previously released classic “i want to be by your side—which poignantly culminates the journey from start to finish.
misery isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a flawlessly painted canvas from someone who sees through the bullshit. This doesn’t necessarily recruit the average everyday listener to conscription. It is something more powerful. This is an album constructed for those who see and feel, at amplified levels. To quote the great Cobain, “Nobody dies a virgin... Life fucks us all.” It’s paramount that we recognize the beauty in between our struggles.
Whether you care to admit it or not, the world has exponentially manifested itself into a dystopian bastion, full of neurosis and inequity. Don’t get me wrong, I am a “glass half-full” kind of guy (most days). However, to simply ignore what is right in front of us—coupled with feelings of helplessness, rampant inflation, inaccessibility to clean drinking water (again), and potential World War 3—one might just want to renounce any traces of Buddhahood, say fuck it and morph into a nihilist. And Every nihilist needs a soundtrack. EKKSTACY’S misery is all of the internal/external malaise we as humans feel and experience but are afraid to illuminate.
Listen to misery below: