81355 - This Time I'll Be of Use
81355 (pronounced ‘bless’) is a meeting of the minds between three pillars of the Indianapolis music scene; Sirius Blvck, Oreo Jones, and Sedcairn Archives. While the three have worked together in the past, this is their first start-to-finish collaboration, and the result is the stunning and distinctive debut Time I’ll Be of Use.
Simultaneously mystical and stark, somber and danceable, the project grapples with hard-wired truths and imagines alternate realities with better futures. These lucid wanderings amongst the street fires sound like a cross between the ghost of progressive electronic music of the 70s with its innovative eccentricities, and acrobatic word-play delivered with sharp resolve. While surrealist in its metaphors and abstraction, it doesn’t betray a present awareness. Reflecting on Black struggle in the pandemic ridden and democracy faltering landscape of 2020, each member arrived from a synchronistic space, and the recording process ended up being largely intuitive.
On 'Capstone,' the opening track on the album, Sirius Blvck offers a look from inside his space, “This is what we’ve come to. Generational curses I still can’t undo. Just taught my lil girl to tie her shoes now she running to. Holy smokes lungs made of leather like it’s comfortable. Climbing up this infinite ladder to get a better view.”
These three musical vagabonds have met up to find even themselves surprised with the results. Drawing inspiration from the likes of biting poetic commentary of the late Naptown residents, Etheridge Knight and Kurt Vonnegut, OJ summons a golden-era flow and paints a picture of the group’s influences, surroundings, and trajectory in one fell swoop in 'Thumbs Up.'
“Alright, in my feelings tonight, Honda Civic overturned as it burns through the night. Bone Thugs in these streets no Surender in sight. I’m writing poems from a jail cell, Etheridge Knight. I throw a fit when I flip it, it’s all vintage. A pearl white Bronco like OJ you done did it. The sunshine shatters the rock painted so vivid. Two-hundred fifty pounds of gifted we so lifted... wassup?”
Sirius, with poetry present even in his speaking voice, adds, “It’s a way to carve our story in the sky before we’re gone. This is us choosing to believe that this time, things will be different. It is an affirmation to the universe. This time I’ll see the whole blessing. This time I’ll be of use.”
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