Akurei does some sober self-reflection on a late night ‘Ride Home’
Brisbane producer AKUREI has unveiled the second track off his forthcoming debut EP, the hypnotic, contemplative ‘Ride Home’. As on his previous single, ‘Photophobia’, ‘Ride Home’ sees the producer continue to burrow into an affective blend of R&B-leaning electronica that gracefully uses its textural and atmospheric layering to craft evocative emotional narratives.
Akurei explains that “lyrically, the song covers a kind of epiphany I’d had while walking home from a party one night, about the way I’d been living and the decision to change that”. ‘Ride Home’ finds the producer in a disassociated, meditative moment of clarity and perception, where he’s above his own life but is also self-consciously examining it in the most sober detail.
Appropriately, the music also sounds disassociated, as if it’s all hovering slightly above Akurei: the light touches of percussion ripple through the track like a stone skimming the surface into a pond; a disembodied harmony calls out from the distance – “I’m going home, I’m going home”. But beneath this is Akurei’s thin and pensive vocal performance, grounding the track with its plaintive, introspective lyricism (“I was looking for a reason and a ride home / I was thinking how you told me it was terrible”). It’s the one part of the track which feels the closest to you as a listener, cutting through the ephemeral haze of the track’s instrumentation to provide clarity as Akurei’s self-reflection builds to a final realisation: “I can’t live like this no more / I won’t live like this no more”.
“This song is based around a guitar part I found I had recorded on my iPhone awhile ago, and it has unexpectedly become a central part of the writing for the whole EP,” Akurei explains. On how the track came together, he says that: “[‘Ride Home’ is] also the second song that I’ve produced myself, and while I’ve still got a lot to learn about the production side of things, I’m really happy with how this one has turned out.”
It’s unclear whether that guitar part, a whispy looped line surrounded by spectral atmospherics that suffuses the entire track, is re-recorded here or left in its original, iPhone-recorded state. Regardless, it derives much of its magic from maintaining the illusion that it could be the latter; it’s a hushed, lonely, privately recorded memo, a page ripped from a diary, a personal reminder from Akurei to himself to do better and to be better. It feels voyeuristic to listen to, as if we were never meant to hear it but – somehow – we are.
IMAGE: Sean Pyke