helloworld drops his 2nd EP 'clouds in my basement' on Monstercat
Article by: Annalee ‘Alee’ Noel
The music project known as helloworld continues to depart from the artist’s previous incarnation in EDM, all in pursuit of what really speaks to his soul. And clearly what’s in his soul is worth sharing as he follows up his incredible singles “see str8” and “2hard2letgo” by unveiling his entire six-track EP clouds in my basement on Monstercat. Having previously performed at EDC Las Vegas in October 2021 and May 2022 — one of only a few artists to do so — helloworld is a vurtiousic producer with a very bright future.
Add the older sounds of Flume, a pinch of Louis the Child, and the lyrics and vibe of Taska Black into a blender and then stuff in the best bits of some nostalgic video-game sounds, digital distortion, and glitches and voila — one gets the sound of helloworld, the incredibly tasty indie-electronic artist. clouds in my basement explores helloworld’s journey towards finding his authentic self after a period of life-changing experiences. Fans are sure to recognize his signature video-game-inspired chords as helloworld takes listeners on a cohesive ballad-fueled trip through a range of emotions from both himself and his fans.
helloworld shared, “The clouds in my basement EP represents my journey through various obstacles I’ve had over the past couple years and my transition into music that I feel is the most authentic to me.”
The EP opens with a short little intro cleverly named “init,” which stands for initialize in the sense of a computer booting up, very fitting for the intro of his EP as helloworld welcomes you into his digital, glitchy-synth world. helloworld’s vocals sound distorted and warped in the best non-autotuned way, adding depth to his sonic palette. The short lyrics “chasing feelings that I never had, time and time they’re rushing back, wondering when they’ll run and fade I don't know how to change it, chasing feelings that I never had but always feeling like they’re coming back, always running away because I’m scared that I’ll waste it,” really set the tone for the overall body of work that follows.
“easier” teases our ears with kids playing in the background, a nice organic feel for his extremely digital style. helloworld chooses to have more naturally processed vocals for a very authentic feel throughout, contrasting his digital style. His digital-tone synths are playful and well placed within the track, making for a very fun and entertaining listening experience. The drops sink deep into the halftime groove of the track and the lead synth is so satisfying as it tickles your ears. The additions of little bleeps and boops along with some sprinkled hi-hats are delightful and lend to the playful sonic sounds, even though the lyrics talk of wanting to be more positive overall in life amid his struggle as a musician and producer.
Previously dropped as a single, “see str8” arrives as the third song on the EP. The soft drop of the chorus balances a nearly wholly acoustic guitar intro. With fuzzy distortion dancing in with a low synth that matches the lyrics in melancholy, he sings “your face is my remedy… when I can’t see straight.” It’s moody and nostalgic, but as the lyrics explain, it's moody in a very saving way. The person you go to when everything is emotionally overwhelming and you need to have your vision and mind cleared. In the second verse, the acoustic guitar is joined by snappy kicks and hi-hats that go on fun little rolls chirping along. The ring-out of reverb on selected strings within the last phrase rounds out the track into a perfect package tonally and emotionally.
“pretend” enters the conversation as the fourth track. Written by helloworld and Adam Turley, and with Turley’s vocals, “pretend” has a slightly different sound compared to helloworld’s voice, which is a fun change! Turley and helloworld met via mutual friends online who share a love of songwriting and collaboration. While both of their voices are similar, their intonations differ and add to the diversity of the EP, as the chorus remark: “I’m done fakin’ it, I can’t pretend.”
Adam Turley’s inflections of melody as well in the verses are well done and inventive, keeping the listener intrigued. The production is in a similar palette as the previous tracks but is still presented with a fun call-and-response melody synth in the back that weaves in and out of the bass. The bleeps and blips add to the feeling of controlled chaos along the same theme of the lyrics. In particular, the bridge is beautiful — “tired of staying up past midnight, scrolling through your good times, if only I had mine” and speaks to a place nearly everyone has been at one point or another. It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite lyric story off of the EP for this writer but “pretend” would be a strong choice!
Clocking in at over 315k streams so far on Spotify, “2hard2letgo” has been a very successful single. In one of the more textured tracks off of clouds in my basement, listeners are treated to little glitch chirps, whirly mini-risers, various treatments of piano, tasteful pop claps, vocal chops, and glitched-out synth stutters. Layered vocals also add depth with the shape of the melody in the pre-chorus and drop as helloworld sings, “it’s too hard to let go” dancing in between vocal chops and fully sung phrases. It comes together masterfully showcasing what a talented producer helloworld really is.
Looking at the track name, one might think “without u” would sound like a cliched break-up track, but instead, helloworld tells us it’s about something equally heartbreaking — leaving home and the ones you love across the country to move to another city to pursue one’s dreams. Again, opening with acoustic guitar, but paired with a growly, scratchy, muffled bass gives darker connotation to the story as helloworld sings, “The distance is worse than I thought, is this what I want?”
The chorus is broken up with happy-sounding bleeps that filter through tasteful arpeggiation and extremely muffled vocals asking if things will last, if one will feel alright without the presence of their core people and the place that they love. In the second verse, helloworld introduces a little background melody to the elements presented in the first verse and raises the vibe to a happier space without changing the overall message of the track. The vocal work on “without u” is as complex as “2hard2letgo” with unique distortions at the end of phrases and lush vocal layers. The end line “everything’s changed without you” ringing into the reverb is an extremely satisfying end the powerhouse of an EP helloworld has delivered.
helloworld is worth keeping an eye on as he will continue to put out very strong tracks with epic and unique video-game textures and lyric stories. He has released music on many incredible labels like Circus, headed by the EDM OG Flux Pavillion; Heaven Sent, from duo Slander; Lost In Dreams and Bassrush Records, both housed under Insomniac Records, and more. This is a testament to his talent level in producing music. helloworld is also currently set to drop a mix very shortly so be sure to look out for that by following him using the link below!
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