Despite making a case for being the worst year in the history of years, 2020 will contain some high points.
One of the highest will come on May 30th, when Montreal based rapper Backxwash releases GOD HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS LEAVE HIM OUT OF IT.
Backxwash has been on my shamefully long list of artists I should’ve already discussed for some time. Since July 2019 actually, when her third album Deviancy dropped. The announcement of her fourth album’s release date offers a good opportunity to right this wrong. And the best place to start is with its lead single “Spells”.
As the title suggests, magic plays a big part in what Backxwash does. The symbolism of witchcraft is entwined with her image and brand. It runs deeper than this though.
Asserting your individual identity, broadening your means of expression. Helping you navigate (and come to terms with how you might defy) social norms and cultural expectations. These are just some of the ways witchcraft can intersect with the experiences of queer people.
As Backxwash herself describes during “Spells” – “I told my mama that the devil got a place for me”.
Backxwash’s performances are always dextrous. Her forceful delivery invokes justified anger and “fuck yous”. Raw honesty, emotional vulnerability, and sharp wit are common in her work. “Spells” lives up to this.
Devi McCallion of Black Dresses provides an ethereal albeit pretty damn unsettling chorus. She feels a “Million miles away” as she sinks beneath the spells. She offers an interesting contrast to Backxwash. The latter is assertive, whereas McCallion is being swept along by forces she cannot control.
That two rising stars in independent music came together for “Spells” is incredibly exciting. It all bodes so well for God….
You can pre-order the album now. Backxwash deserves your attention and support, because she’s pushing boundaries and will continue to bless us over and over again.
You can find Backxwash here: