Mura Masa releases his much-anticipated second album, R.Y.C (Raw Youth Collage). Guests including Clairo, slowthai, Tirzah, Georgia, Ellie Rowsell from Wolf Alice (and Alex himself stepping out as lead-vocalist).
R.Y.C (or ‘Raw Youth Collage’) is an ambitious and exciting left-turn from an artist and producer whose ability to always surprise is matched only by his remarkably consistent, singular vision. Breathing new life into - amongst other things – New Wave, Emo, Folk and 90s Rave – tracks like No Hope Generation reinvent Mura Masa's sound whilst also paying tribute to the alternative roots which shaped him when he first became a genuine musical outsider, growing up in the remote island of Guernsey. And it’s this fondness for the music of adolescence – reworked in thoroughly modern, bedroom-pop fashion – that became an analogue for the theme of the album as a whole…
Spiritually, R.Y.C (Raw Youth Collage) addresses a generational addiction to nostalgia, and its uses (and limits) as means of coping with the difficulties of the present. Influenced by ideas around Hauntology, it explores the irony that in times of increased urbanisation and digitisation, somehow it’s never been easier to feel lonely. For Mura Masa, it’s only once we accept nostalgia as a permanent fixture – a fact seemingly embodied by the cyclical phases in which different subcultures, political movements, fashion trends, even musical genres wax and wane – that we can start to learn from it. Why do we keep going back? How reliable is memory? And if your youth – and its assorted musical scenes – will always appear rose-tinted in the rear-view, then perhaps your present is there for the taking, after all.
Despite the odds, Mura Masa's endless desire to learn and push himself further has led to where he finds himself on R.Y.C (Raw Youth Collage): an artist able to channel those highs and lows of youth culture, and use it to expand what pop music should sound like today. It’s an album that strikes on the zeitgeist of his generation precisely by understanding the road that took us to this point. Even when interrogating the past, Mura Masa sounds like the future.