Australian hip-hop has long suffered the restrictive pigeonhole of sounding like one very particular sound.
Everyone knows what it means when someone refers to ‘Aussie Hip-hop.’ It’s the sweet, sweet nostalgia of artists such as the Hilltop Hoods, Bliss n Eso and 360 that has become so definitive in the mainstream depiction of how Australians fit into the world of hip-hop.
Showing the signs of a maturing artist, Charlie Threads brings modern style and old school soul to an impressive debut with Palm Trees in Graveyards
Sure, there are the classics. Chase That Feeling by the Hilltop Hoods, Bliss n Eso’s Sea is Rising, Pez and 360’s ode to the Australian festival, rising to commercial popularity as Australians sought to make their own niche in the market. Now though, it’s not uncommon to hear “I like hip-hop, I just hate Aussie hip-hop.”
Emerging now is a fresh new wave of Australian hip-hop, diverging well away from the typical mainstream sound. With Adelaide’s Allday and Tkay Maizda, as well as Melbourne’s Baro considered as the current leaders, there is another young artist rising through the ranks providing a fresh new flow to avid listeners of the genre.
Hailing from Gembrook in Victoria’s East, Charlie Threads new mixtape Palm Trees in Graveyards has dropped and is undoubtedly about to blow up.
What is so interesting about Threads’ Palm Trees in Graveyards is the absence of the usually distinct native accent of most Australian artists. With considerable time taken to limit such a pervasive sound in his vocals and working with various producers (mostly featuring production through from the talented Mitch Graunke) Palm Trees in Graveyards offers a very new type of accessible, audio dream that can be branded as Australia’s very own.
From the very first lines of Introduction Day, you might mistake Charlie Threads vocals for Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt as they sound uncannily similar. Though, probably not a coincidence since Earl is listed as a major influence of Threads’. The rapper’s lyrics and beats are far removed however, as he works to produce music that is unique and fresh.
The whole mixtape has a slick groove flowing through each track. With tracks like Ain’t Even reflective through the soft electric guitar hook, Threads’ smooth flow becomes more aggressive in Put ‘Em Up. Personally worried that such a great start to the mixtape might be ruined by unnecessary cussing, like Illy’s Swear Jar or the constant reference to the oh so improper middle finger, I was gladly proved utterly wrong.
With an echoing jazzy lead, Threads is thrusting himself into the faces of listeners, demanding full attention. Other tracks including ePiffany, Sink and Perfect Timing being a sonic phantasm of soulful sounds for the Australian hip-hop scene. The project is a thoughtful exploration of a young man, maturing from teenage apathy and transitioning into a vast awareness of the wider world.