2020 is almost over. On the horizon are festive celebrations, the faint outline of vaccines and an actual grown-up in the White House. But before all that, there are dark times ahead (literally, we’re getting about 40 seconds of daylight for the next month). Thankfully, Jack Suddaby, AKA, sudders, has just dropped his debut EP, and it’s a bright light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
After moving from his rural home to South London, sudders gained some notoriety as Bucket Hat Jack and as a DJ on Itch FM. But it’s his work as sudders that has received nods from BBC Radio 1, BBC Introducing and, of course, UKHH.
The lyrics cover a gamut of grand universal themes – combining wry humour, optimism and sombre reflections. ‘Pain’ abandons the usual self-pitying regret for something more uplifting. ‘Father in the Mist’ feels like a voyeuristic glimpse into a family therapy session.
And although sudders spits bars with a bleak honesty, ALBoM is an unrelentingly hopeful record. Even when he’s discussing heartbreak (‘Moving On’), isolation (‘I like to be Alone’) and mental health (‘Pain’), sudders pushes a positive outlook. In a year of impossible adversity, that hopeful optimism feels particularly necessary.
The precise delivery and studio-quality production might be enough for some to write sudders’ off as home counties popstar in hip hop clothing. But that would ignore the depth of talent and his commitment to the roots of DIY beats and basement cyphers. With ALBoM, the young rapper-producer has achieved a smart balance between commercially satisfying beats and boom-bap flow.
Taking cues from everything from Leaf Dog to Rag N Bone Man to Jehst, ALBoM has clearly been crafted with an ear for solid instrumentals and beats worthy of a High Focus release. From the lo-fi guitar loops of ‘Family’ to the anthemic cosmic-blues chorus of ‘Breathe’, ALBoM traverses a stunningly vivid soundscape.
Joel Robertson (MOTH), and Ed Vyvyan (Junodream) provide some powerful guest vocals. But this is sudders’ vision. A Little Bit of Me is an unforgettable introduction to a promising young artist, and a welcome conclusion to a year we’d all rather forget.
A Little Bit of Me drops December 18th. Get your copy, pre-save the EP and more here.