keshi – “atlas”
Bedroom R&B wiz keshi (Casey Luong) is back! The self-made musician (whose THE REAPER EP was one of our favorites of last year) returned yesterday with “atlas,” his first release of the new year. Millions of streams and a sold-out Houston show later, “atlas” proves that he still hasn’t lost his touch.
Backed by a dizzying rewound sample and an irresistible R&B beat, “atlas” is perhaps the most inviting song about drunken escapism that you’ll hear all day. keshi, who is no stranger to relationship woes in his songs, tackles that same subject again here with sharp criticism and a tired reluctance (“Can I get some help that’s a hell no / But I bet she’d break her neck for that cell phone”). Envisioning himself as the Greek Titan Atlas who carries the burdens of the world (“Atlas shrugged his shoulders / Said he’d drop that boulder”), there’s a uncomfortableness to his situation that is only relieved by his frank confessions peppered throughout his song. keshi spills it all under a bourbon-burning stupor, which is brought out by the continuously disorienting instrumentals that weave in and out of the song’s structure.
At a particularly tender moment in the song, keshi admits, “Guess I’m a little bit scared of the things I don’t understand / Finding semblance of comfort that nothing will go like I planned.” There’s a certain amount of trepidation inserted into the song’s very core–a feeling that keshi is unable to escape from no matter how much he tries. “atlas” is R&B for the ones who are tired of feeling blue–an slow burning anthem for those 3 a.m. insomniacs who constantly feel the world weighing down on their shoulders. Pop on “atlas” when those blues hit hard, and you’ll find solace in keshi’s words.
Li-Wei Chu is the chief editor of From the Intercom. When he’s not editing drafts and searching for new artists to cover for the website, he loves watching cult films, cooking, and listening to his ever-growing collection of vinyl records. You can follow him on LetterBoxd and make fun of his taste in movies here!