As much as I think it’s necessary to celebrate prolificity and artists who are constantly putting out work, there’s something powerful to be said about patience and the careful sculpting of one’s creative vision. Such is the case with Wiley from Atlanta, who’s remained quiet since dropping his debut EP and followup single last fall. If we are to believe the rumors, however, the rapper and singer’s sophomore EP, TEEN SPIRIT, will be out at the end of this month, just in time for the summer season to kick into high gear. And if the warm, pulsing lead single is any indicator, Wiley’s been spending time in the lab, scheming up new vibes for 2017.
Produced by Juno Adonis, “Paper Planes” continues to mine the ambient, pastel-coated hip-hop Wiley has explored in the past, only the beats are more fixed and direct. The effervescent rhythms remain, but they’re encased in classic East Coast boom bap — not exactly what you’d expect from the self-proclaimed “next big thing from the souf.” There’s no denying the track’s hypnotic glaze, though, with a low organ hum providing the ideal runway for his head-in-the-clouds poetics and easy-glide croon. “I almost lost myself in June / Left my cigarettes at home / Got my baby back in my room / Now the summer ain’t as long,” Wiley sings on the opening verse, his voice sounding relaxed and assured. It’s yet another lovely midtempo cut from the young artist, evoking the laid-back chill and translucent glow of summertime romance.
TEEN SPIRIT is due out June 30.