The best albums of the year list just got its new member. To be honest with you I only discovered Barney Artist a couple of months ago, but his clever, introspective lyricism has made him one of my favourite rappers at the moment. The soulful production he is able to garner through producers such as Alfa Mist, Jake Milliner, Tom Misch and Jordan Rakei & Selvsse amongst others has made his music incredibly textured and sonically blissful at times, which is something that is heavily prominent on his debut album Home Is Where The Art Is.
Broken down into Side A and Side B, the album has a consistent jazzy undertone that is light-hearted in sound, but does include heavier and more serious lyrics, like on tracks “Apologies” or “It’s About Time” where he talks about relationship misfortunes and the difficulty of trying to stay grounded in a society which celebrates fame and flashiness rather than genuine authenticity. The latter track, by the way has some of the most beautiful chord progressions I have heard in a while. Stunning. Sonically, the album takes a darker turn on Side B with “Ilvu Too” featuring Emmavie and “LOOK AT YOUR MAN NOW!” which flows so perfectly with one another that both tracks sound like one, married together by the dark storyline as well as the sinister synth leads and effects throughout. The latter of the two tracks features an aggressive spoken word story from George The Poet, a scathing story that sticks with you for some time after listening to it, trust me. Other highlights include the Jordan Rakei featured and produced track “Merchants,” which includes a sweet and soulful melody from Jordan, which is to be expected from him. “Breakdown Cover,” produced by Tom Misch has an incredibly colourful beat, with Tom’s signature guitar leads that brings out such personality.
The heavy jazz influence coupled with Barney Artist’s incredibly upbeat and infectious personality displayed on this project makes it one of the very best to come out not only out of London, but out of the UK. Please listen to Barney Artist’s new album Home Is Where The Art Is, out right now. You can stream it below via Spotify.