Uprising singer/songwriter/rapper Alan Who shares his debut project UltraViolet, a 7 track body of work that explores a string of emotions, and topics and is filled with varied soundscapes that showcase Alan’s versatility.
“guardian angel” opens up the project with its solemn and moody textures courtesy of producer East Vale. Alan Who delivers a laidback and emotion-laden performance ripe with heartfelt lyrics that dwell on being lovelorn and longing for something special. This is followed by “purple rain”, a midtempo bouncy track made up of dreamy ethereal textures and punchy drums. Alan sure sounds at home on this one and seamlessly flow over the beat with his distinct airy melodic vocals and off-kilter cadence that range from hushed to baritone levels.
“devil on my shoulder” helps change up the vibe of the project with its jazz-soul textures. The piano riffs, warm textures layered with soft basslines and soft percussions are underpinned by the stream-of-consciousness raps from Alan and Voodoo Chow. Lines like “Still wondering If I can feel as deep but ain’t no feel for me, how can I reach God if my cell phone cuts off/my self won’t shut off, the shelf won’t dust off, I’m stuck” explores the mind of someone looking for deeper answers while “This kind of things ain’t my forte, margarita sipping, got me skipping the foreplay/call you up the same time, I am needing you all day/we ain’t make it to the bed, we fuck in the hallway” dives into hedonism and loss of feeling. The tandem raps between Alan and Voodoo Chow are also brilliant and add an interesting dynamic to the track. “daydreaming” is made up of a sombre acoustic guitar and soft drum grooves and exudes a summertime vibe. Here, Alan reminisces on his girl and all the good times they always shared. He is joined by vocalist Brenna Dugan who peppers the track with her rich melodies and expressive vocal performance. The track is pretty distinct as the beat changes in the middle half and gets more sombre and moody with Alan employing a different style to showcase the swirling emotions building up inside of him.
“divine” sees Alan teaming up with East Vale for an adulation-filled track made up of moody and sublime textures. Alan employs a lazy melodic drawl and shares his true feelings for that special someone. On, “refraction”, Alan uses a genre-bending soundscape that starts off mellow with a filtered vocal sample which slowly builds up into a jersey club type bounce with sparse and cinematic sound design. He once again makes use of his laidback melodic drawl and he is joined by Kohzi who peppers the track with her sultry choppy raps. The project closes out with “better than drugs”, an atmospheric track made up of lush pads, sparsely arranged drums and reflective lyrics that dwell on finding that special someone to whom he can get addicted and find eternal solace. The track also has an interesting ending where it switches to an acoustic guitar backdrop and Alan does a faux soft rock vocal impression.
Overall,UltraViolet, is a potpourri of off-kilter and genre-bending sounds and styles that range from lofi/soul/emo-trap to Jersey club and even includes some acoustic elements. The topics are relatable and Alan’s style of performance and delivery can be an acquired taste for some, he sure makes it work on this project.