Opinion Review

An Awkward Social: Games

Pretoria-based, electro-folk artist An Awkward Social has released his debut EP “Games”, an exploration of the struggles of growing up set against moody keys and drum machines.

The album opens with the frantic, 80s-esque ‘Medicine’ which immediately sets the emotional tone. Putting on his best sardonic voice, An Awkward Social laments how the government and the media feed people distractions as medicine. With its tense, anxiety-provoking chorus, ‘Medicine’ paints a frightening picture of the current state of our world and raises questions as to how it really works.

‘Dedicated,’ the fourth track on the album is a dark, regretful exploration of the path An Awkward Social has taken as opposed to what could have been. After a tense sonic battle between innocence and adulthood the song closes with a determined refrain – “You can make it/The thing is you gotta be dedicated/You haven’t seen the best of me yet”. With its ever-changing drum beats and battle between light and dark, this is the most dynamic and interesting song on the album.

From beginning to end the album deals with a variety of themes from breaking the spell of escapism, (‘Games’) to sticking to your own truth (‘Hope’), to the pressure of maintaining your image in the world (‘Smile’), all of which are relevant to anyone trying to find their place in the world.

With its ever-relatable themes and its dynamic soundscape, “Games” is a strong first offering from an artist who’s already fashioned a strong voice from himself.

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Listen to the album on Apple Music.