When I sat down with Finn Foxell last year for our magazine interview, he reassured me that the music in his vault is unlike anything fans had heard before. With this in mind, Alright Sunshine doesn’t disappoint. Comprehending that this work is from the same artist who made the Introvert Tape all those years ago is difficult for any follower of Foxell’s music. There are inflections of the fragrant instrumentation running through AS on his 2015 Soundcloud classic, but 6 years of musical dedication has allowed him to blossom into the artist he is today, and has always wanted to be.
Or has it? If you told 17-year-old Finn that he’ll be making indie twinged, psychedelic rap in future musical endeavours he’d probably have choked on his zoot and laughed at you. This change in tone may have come influenced by Fair Youth records, the label releasing Alright Sunshine. Fellow signees NewDad and Sam Akpro are inherently different to the hip-hop heavyweights the his music has been associated with, but presuming that the West Londoner would make another Good Tea or Talk Is Cheap highlights an ignorance that undermines his ability to bulldoze boundaries.
If Good Tea is the nippy, winter ready, ‘spliff and a cuppa’ EP in Finn’s discography, Alright Sunshine is its antithesis. Both are as kaleidoscopic and intoxicating as each other, but AS feels warmer, more spring-like and psychoactive. It’s also a project that breeds positivity. Optimism is at its core, which after 18 months of uncertainty, is a welcome breath of fresh air.
Golden Nuggets sets the EP’s tone with Foxell’s crooned, gruff vocals harmonising over cadenced production. The cut revels in nostalgia and references life’s most perplexing of paradoxes. How do our vices so quickly go from eating golden nuggets and watching CBBC to smoking and drinking spirits? This is one of many questions he addresses not only on this track, but throughout the whole EP. Fellow lyrical confidant Lord Apex jumps on for some off-beat soliloquies and provides the first of numerous features from Elevation Mediation members.
Alright Sunshine is undoubtedly a family affair, with the whole of EM’s roster and Finn’s other close collaborators, like Nikhil Beats, layered over the 22 minutes. It is arguable, however, that the rapper thrives most in his featureless cuts. This is not to say that the likes of P-Rallel, Louis Culture and Xav don’t body their contributions - the former’s production on Slow Kisses possesses some serious groove, whilst the latter two narrate the trifles of adolescence with eloquence on Real Ones. The single that really cuts the mustard is ‘The Night’, where Foxell outsmarts a latin jazz infused instrumental with a contagious hook and some buoyant bars.
Never one to conform to genres, Finn Foxell has once again proved his musical dexterity on Alright Sunshine. There is some serious replay value on this project, but part of me feels he is holding back the Crème de menthe of his catalogue for the forthcoming, debut album. Nevertheless, we’ll be eagerly waiting for what more is to come.