An ode to adolescence
Phoebe Scott
17:08 17th January 2020

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The second album from dance-electronic producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Crossan a.k.a Mura Masa is an ode to adolescence. Pretty unsurprising when R.Y.C stands for Raw Youth Collage. 

It’s been two years since the 23-year-old released his debut self-titled record with a jaw-dropping collab list including the likes of A$AP Rocky, Charli XCX and Desiigner (to name a few) which instantly swooped into our hearts and onto the festival stages. After teasing us that album two was already finished and that it was “banging” during an interview at Reading Festival back in summer 2019, it’s been a long time coming for this project to come out.

I say project rather than an album as R.Y.C jumps around between stories and moods which feel a bit too disjointed to be one continuous story, but I think this is entirely intentional. It’s a collage that reflects the highs and lows of youth culture including everything from fashion trends, to the messy world of politics and the increases in technology. R.Y.C looks at the fast-paced modernisations young generations have witnessed and the nostalgia that comes attached to it. 

A homage to teenage years and reminiscing what it was like before fame - even though Alex tells himself not to forget to “put your grateful beams on”. It’s a journey of fondness for a previous life that feels so long ago, not just for Alex but for a star-studded line up of young collaborators too including Slowthai, Georgia, Clairo and more. All of them young enough to also relate to the time Alex is looking back on.

We’re treated to Mura Masa stepping out as a lead vocalist on the first song ‘No Hope Generation’ setting the tone for how truly personal this project has been for him. It’s a song that talks about escapism and the sad reality of the world as of present. He ends the song with the lyric, “It’s the hottest day on Earth, but I just keep staring at that collage,” which we can only guess was the beginning of what would inevitably become R.Y.C.

A personal favourite on the record is the short story narrated by Ned Green, ‘A Meeting At An Oak Tree’ in which he tells the tale of climbing into a girl’s bedroom and having to escape through the window when her Dad suddenly arrives. 

Long story short, if you’re a young person and you like dance bangers, this one is probably for you. 

R.Y.C is out now via Polydor. 

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

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