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Blvck Hippie: Basketball Camp

In an article in 1996, Steve Jobs said about the concept of design, “The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have,” further explaining that the more events that one witnesses, the more perspective they will get, which, in turn, fosters creativity.

This component of computer science is also true of music. For genres to continue to be innovative, fusing different styles from a diverse amount of places will inevitably be a part of that process. Blvck Hippie, a Memphis-formed indie rock band, embodies this innovation through their new record, Basketball Camp.

One of its clear strengths is the amount of heart and exploration going into it. Eight of the 11 songs are four-plus minute long emotional odysseys that can utilize walls of sound to envelope the listener in a similar way to ambient music or can mesmerize you with its stream-of-consciousness lyrics over a jam session. “Cain and Abel Fighting,” with an avant garde intro and screamed vocals over punky jazz rock, is a particular standout. It is easy to get wrapped up in the smearing electric guitar and welcome rapid drumming that is sprinkled throughout.

The album also has shorter tracks that help to maintain a steady pace in its first half, but by the second, it slows, thus making itself more dense. This is not necessarily a negative attribute. However, it may mean one would appreciate its compelling ideas and full sound more by listening to it in sections or on vinyl. In any case, bands like Blvck Hippie, which use their fresh and honest voices to speak and scream about their own struggles, are essential for the betterment of music as a whole. 

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