Sneaks is Eva Moolchan, a DC-area musician who brings a post-punk ethos to hip-hop — or is that a hip-hop ethos she’s bringing to post-punk? Suffice it to say her line-blurring approach to music is refreshingly difficult to pin down. Her latest album, Highway Hypnosis, is out at the end of this week on Merge, and it’s streaming early today.
Continuing the thread from 2017’s It’s A Myth, Highway Hypnosis explores many of the contours of Moolchan’s life as a queer black feminist roaming the underground in America’s political capitol. Sometimes, as on the lush yet cavernous rap track “The Way It Goes,” she boasts about her skateboarding prowess and ability to rock a flashy dress in the same breath. Sometimes things get far simpler and even more DIY: “Holy Cow I Never Saw A Girl Like Her” is just lo-fi bass and vocals, Moolchan breathlessly repeating the title phrase with the same enthusiasm the Beatles brought to “I Saw Her Standing There.”
Recorded way back in August 2017 at the late Brooklyn creative space Silent Barn, it’s an album full of surprises. Not least of them is production by big-budget Irish producer Jacknife Lee (U2, the Killers, Snow Patrol) on M.I.A.-goes-trap closing track “Hong Kong To Amsterdam.” The range of sounds on Highway Hypnosis spans nearly that far. It’s an eclectic and adventurous collection — something truly different that also happens to be really good. Check out the full album at NPR.
Highway Hypnosis is out 1/25 on Merge. Pre-order it here.