Yung Lean’s debut on the scene came in 2013, with the almost immediate cult appreciation of his Unknown Death 2002 mixtape, and of course his music videos which followed an ironic depiction of the early naughties aesthetic. Last year saw Lean drop Unknown Memory, an album which though much more serious and hard driven, still threw back to the ‘sadboy’ style which he became known for. Fast forward to now, with the Swedish emcee today releasing the video for Hoover, ahead of his spots at Beyond The Valley and Origin, as well as his debut Australian tour presented by Astral People at the start of next year.
Hoover is straight up the most punk thing Lean has ever done. Tracks from Unknown Memory like Volt drive hard, but the instrumental done by Yung Gud is twisted and driving unlike anything we’ve heard from the Swedish rapper. The most major difference here is his flow, which is fast, punchy, and without any auto-tune, something which became very typical of Lean’s arguable creation of the ‘cloud rap’ genre. Alongside the crackling bass and clanging bells, it is haunting. His lyrics seem to be getting at the excess he’s experiencing as well – “Wake up with some liquor on me/ Wake up with some liquor in me”, with hoover vacuum cleaners just sucking everything up that they can. The clip fits the pace of the track as well, focusing on graveyards, driving and fighting dirtbikes through thich sludge, and cuts back to what we assume is Lean’s neon-lit home studio. It’s one of his more interesting clips, with intriguing slow motion shots of muddy textures and a bleak landscape, rather than the usual vapour-wave and tech stylings we’re used to.
Hoover is Yung Lean heading in a new direction. If you follow him on social media you’ll know that he’s often mixing it up pretty hard – just today upping a photo of his hair now neon green, taking on a really dark new look. Whether he stays on this punk style path remains to be seen, he’s the sort of musician that likes to test new waters every once in a while. If you’re feeling like a Sadboy, make sure you get tickets to his shows in early Jan, dates below: