Written by Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy (@danielmondon)
Round where I stay, the night is beginning to roll out a little later than usual, even as the rain and wind push back stronger. It’s a sign that spring is coming, and with spring we’re going to need new riding music, as we leave our sweatshirts at home. We’ll always be happy to hear some bass, but come springtime we want a surplus not just the daily recommended amount.
Oakland resident G.L.A.M.’s third west-coast mixture The Feel sounds like the first burst of springtime. Each of its nine tracks showcase recent L.A. sonics: trunk-rattling minimalism, spacey ’08 Odd Future melodicism, off-kilter groove and a squiggle of G-funk Theremin. Recognizable samples pepper the breezy vibe (“Paul Revere”) that “slappa-de-bass” scene from I Love You Man, Queen Latifah yelling some shit in Set It Off. When the songs aren’t crawling along, they’re pumping and pounding into a familiar groove locking The Feel into easy repeated listens.
G.L.A.M. is certainly a student of today’s web-based rappers, with a number of tricksy triple-time flows used in the hope that the listener won’t find the dud lines amongst the technical flourishes. She doesn’t embarrass, but she doesn’t acquit herself either—it’s competence. She sparks to life on the closing “Coco’s Reprise,” a cool-cucumber hijack story, and that’s the immediate highlight because it reaches for something other than the need to vibe out. But at the same time, it’s getting brighter outside. Perhaps we need something easy to prepare us. The season awaits.