EKKSTACY is in his own lane… and he’s doing just fine

On top of that, EKKSTACY is more “scattered” as a body of work than the artist would usually see himself making, which he attributes to the fractured process of its creation. “It’s cool and not cool at the same time. It’s cool that you can do a bunch of different sounds in one project and it attracts a lot of different types of people,” he reasons. “At the same time, I love cohesive records. All the bands I like, all their songs on a record sound the same and there’s one or two that stick out.”

He might not see it now, but the variety in the record is one of its greatest strengths. This is a subtle quirk; the spectrum of sounds is closer to a mix of darker and lighter shades of blue than clashing, competing neons, meaning it does still have that cohesiveness EKKSTACY likes to hear in other artists’ records. It’s a gently bright, atmospheric listen conjuring images of summery, orange skies, long drives in breezy weather and strolls by the beach, almost with the vibe of a coming-of-age film soundtrack. The energy ebbs and flows – goo lagoon vibrates with a jittery sense of anticipation while also paying worship to The Cure, while problems is an intimate, twilit acoustic affair. Other times, songs will combine the best of both worlds, with get me out surging from moody, strummed chords to bursting into a huge, heavier passage to stunning effect.

While the album’s indebted to indie and surf rock with gothier touches, its fluidity when it comes to genre means there’s no one category it sits neatly in. Indeed, its two collaborations feature names from completely different worlds in the form of hip-hop acts Trippie Redd and The Kid LAROI. “I don’t think I’m in a scene at all,” EKKSTACY says. “I know there’s some kids that sound similar to me, but I’m very different, I think. I’ve always thought it’d be cool to be part of a scene, though.” It must be freeing, but on the flip side, is it ever lonely? “I think everything’s kind of lonely.”