Spotlight: “Sisyphus” by Sisyphus

What do you get when you make Serengeti, Son Lux, and Sufjan Stevens write music together? You get Sisyphus, initially called s/s/s, and now they’re putting out a record of 11 songs that feel fresh, inspired, albeit a little weird. What we ultimately hear is a masterful combination of their respective expertise in different genres of music production, resulting in a futuristic hip-hop record of simple and catchy songs with pop sensibilities.

We’ve listened to it a couple of times now and here we highlight our favorite tracks from the forthcoming record, set for release on March 18 via Asthmatic Kitty Records.

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Track 4: “Rhythm of Devotion”

The catchiest track in the record has Serengeti rapping furiously about how he doesn’t care if you’ve been to Japan, LA, Tibet, or Detroit, he’ll be there for you no matter what. This somehow goes incredibly well with Sufjan softly singing a very ’80s-inspired pop refrain reiterating the same sentiment. They’re on the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of emotional intensity, but you get the idea loud and clear.
Play this when: You’re at a house party and you want to dance.

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Track 2: “Take Me”

A beautiful synth-infused slow jam reminiscent of Sufjan’s Age of Adz phase, it’s a simple love song with a longing that gets more and more intense as the track goes on. As Sufjan sings Love, take me to your room; I wanna be your friend again and again, you understand that this is more than just about friendship. And it’s beautiful.
Play this when: You want to make out with someone.

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Track 1: “Calm It Down”

Opening the album is a pretty simple, straightforward track that has Serengeti gently telling us to calm it down. Want to send another telegram? Just stop it! It’s repetitive, but that’s the point. Once you reach the 3-minute mark, the song comes to a synth explosion that has Sufjan questioning why he can’t calm down. It’s a great track that introduces us to the compatibility of these three unlikely collaborators.
Play this when: You’re in your car and you just want to calm the fuck down.

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Track 11: “Alcohol”

The closing track also happens to be the trippiest, if not the best, depending on your current state of mind. Here we find Serengeti rapping single, rhyming words against a consistent drum beat that feels like someone’s drilling a hole in your skull. In a good way. It sounds a lot like someone who’s either spazzing out or coming to an awakening of some sort. Either way, it is strange and perfect. Do not drink coffee before you listen.
Play this when: You’re not distracted and not under the influence of anything.

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Stream the album in full above for a better understanding of this collaboration. It really is worth multiple listens. Pre-order Sisyphus before its release via Asthmatic Kitty.


Some of my favorite things are beef jerky, bacon, Benedict Cumberbatch, pistachios (aka the nut of the gods), my husband's face, and coffee.

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