I had this sneaking suspicion that Me & You was gonna be worthy of a place of my Best Albums of 2019 list. I still put off listening to it, however. Partly because of other commitments, but also because wanted to savour this one. Take the time, sit down and really immerse myself in it, rather than rush through to meet a deadline.
I’ve never claimed to be rational.
In isolation, Ada Rook and Neotenomie are two of my favourite artists. Together, they created one of my favourite records of all time: 2017’s SUPEREGO ROYAL JELLY. They are without a doubt two of the most inspired artists out there. Me & You is further proof of this.
Like SUPEREGO…, Me & You draws out the finest qualities of its creators. Nomie’s jaw-dropping, endlessly imaginative and pixel perfect production. Rook’s flexibility as a performer. Vocally, she can switch effortlessly from tenderness and vulnerability into displays of raw power. Terrifying screams, howls and growls which have never sounded better.
“Incorporeal” is the perfect song to kick things off. The first half noticeably belongs to Nomie. There’s the kind of hypnotic, cycling, FX-rich musical phrases those familiar with her Witches EP will recognise. Despite some distorted vocals, Rook truly steps up around two and a half minutes in. After a deep, dark drop she takes the mic, delivering astonishingly powerful harmonies.
This song is glorious to listen to. Not just because of its quality as a work of art, but because it also reminded me of why I loved Rook’s own Shed Blood so much.
A definite vein of trip-hop runs throughout Me & You, and “Let Me Live” is where it first emerges. This is an interesting mix of witch house vibes and lighter synthwave. There’s a great beat, accented with claps. Best of all is its awesome synth-guitar solo.
“Slime Brooch” is the best track on Me & You. It’s smooth and cool and carries a glorious melody. There’s a little more clarity to Rook’s vocals, which helps in a song with some fascinating and compelling lyrics:
‘I can’t even summon demons. But I guess if you squint. I’m pretty much one anyway.’
‘I’m evil in the open. And nothing worse I’m hoping. I’m slime even to myself. And that’s a comfort.’
“Endless” rounds things up nicely. Again, it’s another relatively chill song which benefits from the contrasts Rook paints with her delivery. What’s most interesting about “Endless” though is how lyrically it calls back to “Someday, Together” from SUPEREGO….
Quite literally in fact:
‘Someday, together. Or alone. We’ll never be. Who we felt so sure we’d grow to be.’
I adore “Someday, Together,” so I appreciate anything which reminds me of it. And I really appreciate the sense of continuity “Endless” creates. Rook & Nomie have a very clear vision. They’re confident about what their music is meant to represent, and how to breathe life into it.
I’m not going back and re-editing my Best of 2019 list. It’s locked off. However, everyone on it needs to take a step back. Me & You really is that great.
You can find Rook & Nomie here: