Bali Baby: Baylor Swift Album Review | Pitchfork

The Bali Baby introduced on Baylor Swift is a code new model. Anyone informed with a 3 tapes a 20-year-old Atlanta rapper (by approach of North Carolina) expelled in 2017, or maybe only one of her some-more renouned songs—like “Iggady,” “Banana Clip,” or “Pretty”—won’t commend this chronicle of her. Bali has pivoted divided from her healthy no-hook trap before, though not even a some-more melody-focused 2018 EP, Bali Blanco, foreshadowed a mutation of this magnitude.


As a pretension suggests, a manuscript is pop-focused and geared for emo; a design implies this shift, depicting a outline of a Stratocaster, a print collage, and a biography with “DO NOT READ” on a cover. These spirit during some long-established signifiers of teenage angst, a lovestruck lady scribbling her inner-most thoughts inside a sanctum that is her bedroom noodling during a guitar and screaming them into songs. The import is that cocktail stone allows for a soreness that swat does not. “I adore rock-pop music,” Bali told XXL final month. “I listen to each strain on Guitar Hero.” Baylor Swift leans into that seductiveness to conform a code new identity. Bali sounds reborn, retrofitting her scrappy swat with Technicolor pop-punk for songs about overcoming heartbreak.

Produced wholly by New York beatmaker and visit co-operator Chicken, Baylor Swift is a high stakes romantic investment some-more adventurous than anything entrance from her peers in Atlanta. Bali said a manuscript “tells a story of a broken-hearted lady who put her all into a mic,” and this plays out in an arc over a march of 8 tracks. A few times, headphones turn black of escape, of flapping divided and disintegrating into song, where a memory of an ex can’t find you. Her strain mines that same withdrawal, anticipating a elementary comfort in only removing this out of her system, like she’s groan into a sham and cleansing a impurities from her body. From a outset, she laments mislaid love, how fast feelings that were once so heated can blur (“Now each time we hold me, it doesn’t feel as crafty as it used to!”), though by a end, she’s acceptant, despite still bruised. “Yes, we know I’m gon’ pardon her/’Cause that’s how we rinse a pain away,” she sings on “Killer.” It’s a slow-building gushing full of rewarding turns, in sound and temperament.

As a rapper, Bali is customarily eager and playfully confrontational. She brandishes weapons and impishly creates light of her enemies (“Bounce on your titties if they’re looking like racks/I set a trap ‘cause these bitches is rats”). But as a thespian on Baylor Swift, she is an depressed partner relocating from contingent to indignant. The opener, “Introduction,” is designed to chuck a album’s first-time listeners off a scent. Atop squelching synths, she raps as she always has, literally reintroducing herself with crafty parallels like “Bitches duplicate me, only need to patrolman a fucking feature/I’m a ideal picture, niggas contend I’m Mona Lisa.” The manuscript unequivocally starts with a nasally “Backseat,” that has drawn comparisons to everybody from Avril Lavigne to Rebecca Black. From there, Baylor Swift spirals external into a capricious post-rap mash-up of guitars and synths.

There is a punchy swat intermission, “WWW,” slotted in, meant as a sign that she does, in fact, still rap—“So we see y’all forgot we had motherfucking bars so we had to move it behind out genuine quick, we dig?” she says in a song’s intro—before she ventures even serve out for a four-song apartment travelling glitchy bedroom pop. She navigates this sonic mélange only as she navigates a severe intrigue explored in her lyrics: solemnly and with good finesse. She understands a boundary of her voice and never pushes too hard, during times vouchsafing a pitchiness or a exaggeration of her vocals pronounce for her. “There’s a few things we know for sure/And one of them is: amatory we is approach too hard,” she bawls on “Few Things,” boring out some syllables as she’s scarcely swallowed adult by incoming waves of sound. She refuses to renounce herself to an unconstrained cycle of pain: “There’s a few things we know: That we will not die though your love/I’ll skip we a lot, though I’ll be fine.”

Since Lil Wayne’s Rebirth exploded preconceptions about rocking while hip-hop, relocating a goalposts for rappers creation strain they decidedly systematise “rock,” a seams in rap-rock have turn harder to find (See: Trippie Redd or Lil Tracy or Princess Nokia). Where does swat finish and stone start for these immature artists? These rappers don’t pull lines between their swat personas and their stone aspirations, they only adjust as it suits their mood and their music. Someone like Lil Uzi Vert is a near-perfect singularity of cocktail punk and rap, a adore child of Wayne and Paramore, and a late Lil Peep was anticipating a middle-ground between Future and Brand New. But Bali’s influences are rather harder to trace. Her characterization of cocktail stone as “stuff that was on Guitar Hero” implies a solution of sounds. Somewhere along a line, she motionless that “rock,” for her, simply meant romantic honesty, being loyal to herself and her feelings. Across a vehement songs of Baylor Swift, a Atlanta shapeshifter embraces a recovering energy of self-actualization.

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