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 a recent graduate from UC Davis who majored in Cinema and Digital Media who also briefly studied film at Queen Mary, University of London. Li-Wei is obsessed with horror films (especially the ones that give him nightmares), films from East Asia, and really, any film that makes you stop and think.
He loves talking about film and indie music with others. He’s also a record collector and cross-stitches when he has free time. In the future, he hopes to be able to write about film and wants to find a job in the film industry that can support his record buying habits. Maybe one day he’ll also be able to play the guitar.