Photo courtesy of Tommy Genesis / Awful Records
"I'm the shepherd of my flock fuck the rest / that's my whole team watch me fuck the rest": So opens Tommy Genesis's aural assault of a debut single, "Shepherd," which clanks to life like a field recording from some hellish abandoned factory. And, hey, it gets your attention. It sounds awesome.
As the collective/label/creative swarm announced during a Boiler Room set Wednesday night, Tommy Genesis is the newest member of Awful Records, which, if you're somehow capable of keeping count, puts the full official roster at 16 people. While Awful Records is, for the most part, an Atlanta crew, they are above all children of the internet, so it's natural that they were able to connect with Tommy Genesis, who is from Vancouver. As she explains, she met Father and Keith Charles Spacebar online a few years ago and kept in touch. You may recognize her from Father's song "Vamp" or KCSB's song "Ask, if you really wanna know."
"Shepherd" is produced by Keith Charles Spacebar and GODMODEGAME666, and it's a chaotic, raging tear of electronic noise. It will jar you all the way out of anything resembling a comfort zone, although it fits within the disorienting world of sound that Awful Records has already become well known for creating. A lesser presence might find the track intimidating, but Tommy Genesis rips straight through it, her lyrics coming like dispatches from the breakup abyss. "I'm no wifey, I'm no wifey" she mutters at one point, while elsewhere she describes herself in biblical terms and still elsewhere goes into a riff about being "in a white robe sleeping in a hammock with my white ho."
"I wrote this track about a girl who broke my heart, I'd always say fuck everyone else," she explains over email, also describing her sound as "dark sometimes, kinda like you're having a bad dream but you're with your dream girl so it doesn't really matter."
Tommy Genesis's debut album will be called World Vision, and it's coming, with typical Awful immediacy, at the end of the month. Until then I'll be raging to this, which is one of the most distinctive, weird, and refreshing rap tracks I've heard in a long time.
Follow Kyle Kramer on Twitter.