Teenage Dreamin' EP - Stranded Civilians
“We could probably make 5 songs in a week…”
Speed, precision and brilliance. A new duo is making its rounds in Chicago as of late: rappers/producers/musical Michaelangelos Tony Santana & WhoIsAubrey. The collective, known as Stranded Civilians, just released their second project titled Teenage Dreamin’. The 6 song, 20 minute EP is a slick sequel to their debut project True Saiyans, which debuted in late 2017. The crisp cover art foreshadows a moody EP that is as vulnerable as it is commanding.
The lucid intro track titled ‘Dream Intro’ showcases a dramatic ballad of string instruments that seamlessly cascade into ‘Voices’, a record that has accumulated raving feedback after it’s sensational visual shot by Josh Noll. Excluding ‘Voices’, Teenage Dreamin’ is produced almost entirely by Aubrey. The ‘Dream Intro’ took life on the spot as a creative impulse Aubrey embarked on.
‘Cinderella In A Garden’ is a vibey track that showcases the lyrical agility of Aubrey and Tony. Aubrey raps the catchy hook over a luscious guitar melody, and leads the way on the first verse. The second verse is full of real life wisdom from Tony on young love, and separating it from lust. “The only thick is your skin, your soul is really hollow”, raps Tony.
Adding to the vibed out EP is ‘Where You Go’, which is clearly one of Stranded Civilians first certified “bangers”. As Tony spits his venomous bars in the first verse, a magisterial bass line comes in around the 1:36 mark that projects the song into a league of it’s own. Wordplay and lyrical integrity is prominent, and the way the two lyricists go back and forth on every track is a thing of beauty. The lyrical style of Stranded Civilians indirectly pays homage to legendary MCs who knew that the art of lyrical warfare would propel the genre into the global market.
“I really admire Earthgang and their creative formatting”, says Tony on his creative inspirations. Earthgang, a collective known for their close ties to J.Cole and J.i.D, formulate dark scenery into colorful lyricism that is doused in outstanding boom-trap production.
The color that guest star Brittany Na’Cole provides on ‘Take The Wheel’ should be noted. The record, complete with lyrical depth and vocal brilliance, brings flashes of Acid Rap era Chance The Rapper and a hint of Casey Veggies to mind. ‘Last Dance’ was recorded with engineer and producer Linus and is the last song on the EP that sends the duo out with a bang. The two don't hold back as they make it clear what they’ve come for: the crown and no one will stand in their way nor waste their time.
Stranded Civilians have plans to release a full length project in 2019, with Teenage Dreamin’ serving as an eargasmic teaser. We needn’t wait long, for calculated speed is the name of the game. After all, Stranded Civilians recorded the song and visual for ‘Voices’ in the same day, and still had time to make ‘Where You Go’ and ‘Take The Wheel’.
Show Teenage Dreamin’ love by streaming below, or on any platform your music hungry heart desires.
Stranded Civilians will be performing Saturday, December 8th at our sponsored event ‘King Of The North’. Details & flyer in our “Concerts” section.