Odd Nugget Social-done

Thoughts, chill as back alleys blanketed in shadow, show up in full force throughout rap artist Ankur’s EP “Shades”.

“Shades” shakes the rap mold with contemplative mood music and mellow enlightenment.

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A smile masks the mirror’s frown.

Caught in a crowd, a soul can drown.

You’ve found a spot to settle down.

The ones who care will stick around.

“I’m feeling down but it’s a phase…”

Ankur’s EP opens up strong with waving guitars and dark ambiance in “Shades”.

He rhymes about the tough times, talks truth on life’s troubles from an emotional standpoint and commiserates with those feeling the same. It’s easy stuff to relate to.

However, although it certainly sets the stage for the EP, it’s not all gloom in his other tunes.

Instead, the album plays like a pick-me-up, rising from the floor of feels in “Shades” through the seat of self-reflection, and then to the height of understanding by its end.

“Takes two to tango, but we get entangled…”

“Stay or Leave” lets emotions spill over easy-listening languor. Ankur proves the breadth of his talents here, with a twist in sound.

Ruth Groenbech-Dam joins in on the vocals in this tune, taking “Stay or Leave” in an ethereal direction. Gone are the electric guitar tones of the title track, replaced by this, sonic gossamer, gilded in glistening teardrops.

Where to next?

“The time is there, but the time is scarce…”

“Last In Line” lines up to swing as the third track on Ankur’s EP.

Guitar-driven melody returns to move this tune along at a moderate pace, making it first so far in “Shades” to pick up in tempo.

Given its subject, this track, in particular, really resonates. Social isolation in the face of perceived failures… Losing track of time as you take enough out to heal yourself… Even as you lie in limbo, life never loses its step…

“Do our souls just wander this planet?”

A sleeve with a heart stitched on… “Blind Side” brings more musings on life’s many facets and God’s many faces.

Another powerful point in the making, this piece of music meets mourners with a message of hopeful contemplation.

The chorus brings a soft crooner character to Ankur’s sound; subtle and sweet with sorrow.

You’re good enough; you should see it too…

Favorite chorus of the album? It’s gotta be “Prove”.

Deep recognition of self-worth is second only to celebration of the same in others. Ankur spreads the love in this track, dwelling on the difficulties of self-esteem from a refreshingly positive perspective.

“Prove” moves at an upbeat pace, but doesn’t rush. Buzzy synths sink Ankur’s sung lines in a haze of horns. It’s pleasingly poppy and pairs well with such uplifting lyrics. Hard not to love…

“Issues, unresolved, need to go to the roots…”

“Down This Road” brings back billowy guitar and pulsating bass for the album’s most melodic track.

Ankur sings a song to himself here, like looking in a mirror and unmasking his soul.

The entirety of this song seems a strong parallel in style and subject matter to Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” but more emotionally charged and transparent in thought.

If you’re interested in Ankur’s music, just press play. Genuine emotion and deeply deliberated lyrics make “Shades” a must-listen. Don’t miss it.

1. Front-done

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