Exclusive: Stream Charlie Threads' new mixtape, Palm Trees In Graveyards
The Aussie rapper breathes new life into the country’s hip hop scene.
Headaer image by Chris Nikolakakos.
Australian hip hop has long suffered from somewhat of an identity crisis in the eyes of many music fans - particular any of those who would describe themselves as anything from novice, to above, students of the hip hop genre and its history (in-country, or otherwise). Acts such as Hilltop Hoods or 360 have long succeeded, mostly, in proving just how jarring the Australian accent can sound in and/or on a recording. It certainly hasn’t helped the case of the above, or almost every other Australian hip hop act who has ever seen any semblance of ‘major’ mainstream success to this point, that their influences and sound seem to have been permanently stuck in hip hop’s past.
Though certainly, yes, the 1980’s and the 1990’s are widely regarded as hip hop’s ‘Golden Era’, it cannot be aptly argued by anybody that the sounds of the same belong in the modern landscape of sound as ‘new music’ or the prevailing influence of an entire genre’s subculture (ie. that of Australian hip hop). A new wave, however, has entered the fray of Australian hip hop within the last couple of years. A wave influenced, without argument, by the sounds of modern hip hop, as much as it is, or will ever be, by hip hop’s glorious past.
While, perhaps, it is Adelaide’s Allday - or even Melbourne’s Baro - who could be seen as the (admittedly) disputable leader(s) of this new wave in Australian hip hop, there are plenty coming up through the ranks (Gill Bates, Floria), and it is another young act who may yet prove to be this new wave’s most accessible artist. Hailing from Gembrook in Victoria’s East, and closely affiliated with the buzzing 90sRD crew, Charlie Threads is poised to blow up in a very big way, if latest mixtape release Palm Trees In Graveyards is anything to go by.
It seems no coincidence that Charlie Threads lists Earl Sweatshirt and Chester Watson as two acts which he considers influences on his sound, since Charlie Threads’ vocals are so eerily similar to both, of the above. In what should be rapturous news for both listeners, and what will be to come for Threads’ career, Charlie Threads seems to have taken the time to considerably limit (to the point of almost entire elimination) the pervasiveness of his native Australian accent and, instead, offering up a considerably more audibly accessible and enjoyable sound. Far from an imitation act, it still remains to be said that the sounds found on Palm Trees In Graveyards (both from Charlie Threads and production largely overseen by the talented Mitch Graunke, who notably has previously collaborated with both the aforementioned Baro and Allday) so effortlessly compel comparisons to various American hip hop stars such as J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller and even, at times, Drake. The straws at which to pull for comparisons to any one of the above are, thankfully, slight enough to not mar Charlie Threads as a mere copycat, but just enough to show the maturity and accessibility of the Gembrook boy’s sound, and set him apart from fellow Australian hip hop acts as inherently in touch with the progression of hip hop as a genre.
A confident body of work exploring the progression of a young man from adolescence in to young adulthood, and the maturing transition from teenage angst in to the process of embracing life, Palm Trees... is an optimistic effort sure to see Charlie Threads differentiate himself from his Australian hip hop cohorts and rapidly thrust himself to the forefront of this new wave. From the project’s jazzy lead single Put ‘Em Up (Fucking Anthem) to soulful closer Perfect Timing, and throughout the project in its entirety, Charlie Threads sets himself apart as an artist in the Australian hip hop scene and, indeed, the Australian music scene as a whole.
Exclusively premiered here on Pilerats four days before its general release on July 7, follow the link below now to listen to Palm Trees In Graveyards, and watch for tour news to appear in the near future.