ericdoa Reignites the Joy of Creation in the Trailblazing 'DOA'

Digicore trailblazer and pop purveyor ericdoa is the furthest he can be from dead on arrival on his sophomore album DOA. The 10-track, 23-minute body of work is a vibrant and feverish sprint through everything that makes his music exhilarating. Throughout the record, he shows off his brilliant knack for creating music that sounds abrasive, raw, and direct without sacrificing an ounce of the frivolous, spirited, and party-ready atmosphere at the core of it all. 

"DOA is something that came together from me having fun," shares ericdoa. "I was over-encumbered with my thoughts and took myself in circles during my process of creation. I had a realization after a while and let myself enjoy what I was actually doing, making sure that I wasn't dissecting every last detail under a perfectionist spell. No intentions of making an ALBUM, just making music that I like and makes me happy."

Album opener "the cake is a lie" begins with a breathless ericdoa atop police sirens, as if he's sprinting from authority. With all eyes on him, he's fidgeting for creative freedom beyond the confines of his computer. In the chorus, he croons, "Crisis averted, sweet nothings, perfectly worded, I lied... /  Tried to walk carefully, but terribly, the cake is a lie," referencing the video game Portal where the game's antagonist GLaDOS tempts the player to complete challenges with the reward of cake, but once you reach the end of it, you're tricked and led to a room full of fire.

The following track, the melancholic party "dancinwithsomebawy," sees the prodigy teaming up with fellow producers Zetra and camoufly to create a euphoric track that oozes with classic elements of the artist, as flourishing, electrifying soundscapes and production serve as the sonic backdrop of a love story gone wrong and secrets coming to light. With twinkling synths and glitchy vocal effects leading the way, ericdoa's dynamic vocals enter the fray and detail the realization that his loved one might be up to no good behind his back. He croons, "Got your message, said, 'We're leaving right now' / You was hopin' that I wouldn't find out" as the instrumentation around him builds to a boiling point. He further reveals that he didn't know for sure but had doubts about his partner's activities, ultimately leading to the endorphin-releasing chorus where he declares she's "Dancin' with somebody, please never remind me."

The trap-influenced "kickstand" arrives as another standout track. Its psychedelic, jazzy flare mixed with hyperpop synths and emo melodies seamlessly melds instrumental elements from TikTok's trending "pluggnb" genre, a fusion of plugg music and R&B, with the recently popularized rage rap style, giving listeners a break from the high-energy, groovy cuts that have led us to this point. 

Racing past the 100 gecs-esque "last june," the synth-fueled "imcoolimgoodimstraight," and the thumping "crisisactor," the EP's finale "sweet tooth" is an endorphin-fueled, magnetic blend of sweet and dreamy melodies that leaves listeners on the most satisfying of highs, gliding atop flurries of glistening synths and grooving beats. His reflective lyricism intricately dives into themes of desire and temptation, weaving together an immersive experience of alternating emotions, irresistible cravings, and shared destructive tendencies. His addictive vocals croon over the stylistic production lines, singing, "Tell you something sweet, feel a pain in your rib / Only taste sugar on the end of your lips / Swear there ain't none purer / Than some love from my bitch."

There's a feeling across DOA that ericdoa is adamant about recommitting to the musical freedom at the core of the digicore movement's foundation. He could easily be an introspective bedroom producer making angsty, insular, and complex music, and sometimes, he shows flashes of that fragmented discordance as he thrashes against the walls of the what may be pop's brazen future. Ultimately, it feels like ericdoa wants to have fun. Demolishing cliches and labels, ericdoa forges an exciting path for his future, and DOA is yet another praiseworthy step in his journey of becoming a compelling, landmark artist.

Listen to DOA below:

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