June 16, 2015

Stream: Crosslegged - Speck

Stream the new album from Queens-via-Philly-based artist Crosslegged.

I have a problem of using the weather as a crutch when writing about music. It feels too easy to relate what I'm listening to with what's happening in the atmosphere around me. How many times can I write that this song is perfect for when you're wrapped in 100 blankets because winter or blasting when you're getting drunk with your friends because summer? But sometimes listening to a certain record during a certain season just makes more sense than any other time of year. When I first heard Crosslegged, the solo project of artist and Pennsylvania native Keba Robinson, I knew that I would be listening to her throughout the hot, muggy days of June, July, and August. Her songs seemed to float through my computer speakers and headphones, rolling through the air and drowning out the buzz of my AC unit.

Today, we're excited to host the first stream of Keba's latest album as Crosslegged called Speck, which will be released on June 23rd. The first few notes of the record are a deceptive electronic beat before Keba's dreamy voice cuts in and leads you into a haze. While the majority of the album centers around Keba's voice and a guitar, there are moments punctuated with a keyboard sound or drumbeat that add a special texture to the album, like on the delicately warbling "Redux" or the bright "Fonder". It's hard not to compare more melancholy tracks such as "Redux" or album closer "Good Day" to Myra Lee or Moon Pix-era Cat Power (which are two of my favorite albums so I mean that as a compliment). In the past, my summers have been defined by the artists that manage to capture the heaviness of a muggy afternoon or the confusing side of a fleeting romance. I know Speck will be a record that falls into that special category for me this year. Speck will be released on the Split-Level Records, which was a label founded by Keba and her brother. Listen to Speck below as well as read some words that Keba had on the album.

Keba Robinson on Speck:

"I'm obsessed with truth, and how it can or can't be known. I'm also really interested in the idea that things in the world can be described by many contradictory adjectives at once. I'm really inspired by water and the sun and how they are indifferent, minimal, strong and gentle at the same time - they just act how they act because of what they must be. Somehow a lot of these songs are also about traveling, leaving things and coming back to things. When you travel in a car, everything you see through the window becomes a flat movie that you can never fully understand, you're stuck in this mode of passing until you get to where you're going. That sentiment is perhaps the strongest one that goes through the album, the feeling of being in a car. I've always liked being in cars."


Listen to Crosslegged on Soundcloud.

Written by Emily Thompson