In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are modern musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It,” where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Commas” — Hoosh
How We Found It
We’ve been keeping up with Hoosh since his passionately pensive vocals touched the elegantly hollow acoustics of “Missed Takes” in his first Why We Like It. He followed up the single with the debut project everything’s going to be alright, and landed a featured artist profile where we spoke about the album’s changing conceptualization of home and the dangers of self-isolation. Coming right at the tail end of that journey with self-actualization, “Commas” is refreshingly free of the burden of melancholy that drips from the debut project.
Why We Like It
Music is magic and there’s no way around it: the focusing of will, the harnessing of emotion, the resulting expulsion of energy and the observation of how it alters ourselves and our environment. After everything’s going to be alright, I wrote about Hoosh using the project to work through some very real and very fresh struggles. I got the sense that both the events and the processing of them through music had resulted in some serious changes to the artist.
That feeling hangs in the air, just off the last words of “the kids”: “Aren’t you sad that we got older now / I think it’s over now / I think it’s over now.” It’s a bit of a cliffhanger. You feel it, but it’s too early to see it. The seeing comes later. In this case, in the brighter “Commas.”
On “Commas,” Hoosh forgoes his typically acoustic approach. The production brings the drums to the front of a synthy background, but Hoosh knows the hollow pockets of a beat bring the most resonance to his croon. He still sings about his anxieties, but with confidence they’ll soon be trivialized by his success.
“I need air oh I’m gasping,” he sings. “Momma run up, run this cash up / We want commas / I need air yo, what’s the deal yo?” He seems perplexed by the time it’s taking the money to come. As he sings about buying bottles and living at a faster pace, the Hoosh of everything’s going to be alright, who cut himself off from nights out with friends to focus on music, seems to grow smaller in the rearview.
On previous tracks, the tornado of anxieties seemed to stick as they were flung at and around the Sudanese-American vocalist. But this time, the winds whip around a storm chaser. “I swear they’ll write a movie about it,” he sings of his inevitable victories. This time, his anxieties don’t feel out of his control. They’re the accepted burden of a path he chose, and that gives him power over them.
I have two sides of myself that are always at odds. One is the live fast die young ‘I just wanna party’ guy, while the other side is a wholesome, health-conscious, spiritually aware individual. The latter is often set back by the actions of the former. I often wonder at times, who’s going to win in the end?” – Hoosh for CentralSauce (2021)
More From Hoosh
More to Discover
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