shutters pres. EKKSTACY
EKKSTACY BIO DRAFT
In the eight months since the release of EKKSTACY’s aptly titled, goth and post-punk indebted sophomore record, Misery, the Vancouver-born indie star has been touring basically nonstop. Between shows and festivals across Europe and North America, including his Lollapalooza debut, EKKSTACY found time to work on a third album, the self-titled EKKSTACY, forthcoming January 2024. Featuring melodic rappers The Kid LAROI and Trippie Redd, EKKSTACY’s new project is more expansive and dynamic than anything the 21-year old musician has yet made. EKKSTACY came up on his brooding, raw sound — epitomized by his breakthrough single “i walk this earth all by myself” — but here we find him, increasingly involved in the music’s production, leaning into brighter indie rock and surf punk sounds that epitomize an increasing confidence in his craft.
It’s giving 2010 — the year of Wavves’ King of the Beach, Surfer Blood’s Astro Coast, Beach House’s Teen Dream, of Girls, MGMT, and Japandroids, all of which can be felt within the sonics of EKKSTACY. Despite the fact that, at the time, the artist was still a few years from learning guitar. Songs like “fuck,” “luv of my life,” and “goo lagoon” have the energy of garage rock shows on the waterfront. “goo lagoon” in particular, a marquee track written in a hotel room in L.A. and one of Ekkstacy’s personal favorites, is guitar-heavy, lively, and a little bit sticky: At the start, a wacky B-horror voice informs us we’re about to enter “A stinky mud puddle for you and me,” in which we get drunk by the water and get lazy by the coast. Heck yeah. Meanwhile, “i guess we made it this far” and opener “i don’t have one of those” are low-key jangly, dreamy and drum-driven tunes that are melancholy in a sunny way. It was music that became EKKSTACY’s outlet after battles with mental health. It’s clear why: There’s joy in the music that shines through the goo of gloom.
Though EKKSTACY and friends and collaborator Mangetsu and Apob wrote and recorded this third record in fits and spurts, during tour downtime over the past several years, and though EKKSTACY is accustomed to and prefers the speedy release process of his SoundCloud origins, EKKSTACY really feels like an album. (The album is made up of a few “little rolls,” EKKSTACY says.) It’s not surprising that EKKSTACY and co were listening to lots of Ramones, The Strokes, and My Bloody Valentine. You can feel the playful punk, the indie rock power chords, the celestial production. It’s a rollercoaster-esque sinking-rising feeling all the way through the ups and downs. Wanting to cry, causing problems, rather drink than fuck. Remembering trips in the backseat of the car, needing to be alone with a guitar — it’s alright, haunted, quickening heartbeats, reminiscing about Chicago, clouds and rain and sunshine at the same time — and all the while these chords that go from languid to swift, and the sweet stretchiness of EKKSTACY’s vocals.
“I think everything is cool,” EKKSTACY told Office magazine in 2022. “Sometimes I’ll be listening to rap, and I’ll be like, Oh fuck, I want to be a rapper. And then I’ll hear a metal song, and I’ll be like, Fuck, I want to do metal.” That all-inclusive, eclectic creative drive is what makes EKKSTACY’s music what it is — and it’s what makes this new chapter so much fun. “The self-titled project is a collection of things I felt over the course of almost 2 years,” EKKSTACY says. He’s built the album to mirror the experience of what it was like to be on tour for that extended period of time, not able to dwell in one headspace or feeling for more than a few days while moving from hotel room to van to greenroom to show and all over again. Rinse and repeat – except for a two week stay in Lake Arrowhead, California, where he recorded a bulk of the album. “It was really cold in Arrowhead and I remember feeling really isolated and weirdly alone,” he says of the experience. “I wanted to leave honestly. A lot of the songs I made there ended up being about wanting to be somewhere else.”
EKKSTACY’s got everything. ADHD-core but make it cohesive. It’s big, it’s reflective, it might even make you wanna mosh a little. There’s the soft pensiveness of “Problems,” to which Trippie Redd contributed (EKKSTACY “came up listening to Trip,” so it’s notably special), the
windy riffs of “the headless horseman lost his way,” reminiscent of the emo-post-hardcore of Title Fight, the dulcet, bouncy moodiness of “alright,” the Kid LAROI collaboration. And there’s the one EKKSTACY calls The One: “bella,” which is like if you took all of EKKSTACY’s faves and influences and rolled it into one 2:30-minute banger. Picture EKKSTACY’s fans packed into one of the huge rooms he plays, all pogo-ing.