Features

Homebrew: Exploring the modern mundane

October 25, 2019
Homebrew last week

Something Different is an online platform that strives to display the best of New Zealand’s talented artists, musicians and creators.

Over the next two weeks, we will be sharing a series of articles and reviews In collaboration with students from the University of Canterbury. The students were asked to create a selection of content as well as how they would present that content to an online audience.

In the second article, Liam McGill explores the classic Homebrew album Last Week, and seeks to highlight the idea of the modern mundane.

The idea of a concept album is to tell a story through the use of music. Whether it be exploring heartbreak such as Tyler the Creator’s Igor, or the events of one’s youth in the likes of Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City. Music has frequently been the basis of allowing an artist to express an idea, presenting their story with as much extravagance as they would like. Home Brew’s Last Week however, effectively twists this idea by presenting a basic, drama-free narrative about the week before.

The album chronicles a week in the life of the lead artist, Tom Scott, as each song represents a day in the week. Starting with the harsh alarm clock of Monday as the workweek begins. As it then goes into Tuesday, Scott raps about the challenges of the day before payday as he struggles to make the necessities last till then. The album then presents the rest of the week seeing Scotts drug-fuelled hang out with the other group members as they formulate beats and ideas for the album, before fully embracing the life of the party while accompanied by Esther Stephens on Friday and Saturday. Which represents the hungover, yet relaxed, ‘day after’. The album concludes on the sobering Sunday where the album wraps up the week as Scott gets ready for the next. The album creates a narrative that not only allows the listener to relate to the artist, but a narrative that the listener can relate to. 

Home Brew’s Last Week effectively acts as a musical answer to the common question ‘how was your day?’ Scott’s delivery is vivid as he tells his story to the listener, naming his friends and colleagues on a first name basis as if the listener is just another person at the pub where he is telling this story. The slick jazz-influenced beats effectively act as the relaxed and laid back soundtrack to his story. The album effectively captures the feeling of those ‘cinematic’ moments in life, despite the fact that nothing special in particular happened, they were special to those involved.

Last Week acts as a refreshing ‘humble’ narrative, stripped of the wealth and extravagance presented by other ‘big’ name rappers, and instead creates a distinctly New Zealand album about the week lower-middle-class artist trying to live his day to day life.

Check out the album here;

The article was written by Liam McGill, as part of our collaboration with the University of Canterbury.

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