“Here comes the feeling you should never let it go,” croons Bladee in the opening track of Crest, the rapper’s joint album with fellow Drain Gang member Ecco2k. Dropped at the height of the Swedish collective’s world tour, the album is the sound of disillusioned and terminally online youth everywhere. Across nine meandering tracks, Bladee and Ecco2k capture the elusive group’s youthful nihilism through existential-lite lyrics and trance-like synth lines.
Divided into five parts, “5 Star Crest” embodies this sentiment most clearly. Dedicated to their friend and producer Vattenrum, who died in 2019, Bladee and Ecco2k merge religious iconography with playful nihilism. “We think we exist, that’s why we suffer, do we not?” contemplates Bladee against a backdrop of bubblegum pop. You can practically hear him shrugging. Later tracks like “Desire Is a Trap” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” are melodic dance-pop bangers imbued with a sense of dreaminess. With an extremely dedicated fanbase, endless meme accounts, and their own fashion line, Drain Gang already has a cult following. But Crest signals a LVL-up in the group’s move towards global domination.
Elsewhere, Charli XCX drops her highly-anticipated album, Rosalía flexes her vocal range on Motomami, and Midwxst releases a frenetic EP.