Wall Papered Exit Wounds
“Sad rap songs” is too simple a description for “Wall Papered Exit Wounds,” the promising new album from H.W., though it’s not too far off, either. Over the course of eight intensely personal and introspective tracks, his mood floats somewhere between guarded optimism and dejected apathy; he’s got a sharp eye for detail, but he’s cursed to notice all the flaws. On “Blueprint to Your Inner Workings,” he sees them in a wounded girl who “deserves more than [she’s] accepted within this pipe dream.” On “Insecurities,” he sees them in his own struggle to “let optimism corrupt my cynicism and break the cycles that I tend to live within.” It’s hardly an uplifting listen, but records this honest rarely are. “Exit Wounds” succeeds because H.W. articulates his pain in nuanced and literate verses that reward repeat listenings. At his best, like on “Memories of Linwood,” H.W.’s lyrics brim with vivid images of love and death, and he’s able to bridge his personal issues with larger philosophical questions in genuine ways. Producer MobRobb deserves equal credit for creating punchy, head-nod beats and brooding instrumentals as required, both superbly. For a sad album, there’s plenty to enjoy here. (Album available July 23.)
H.W. performs at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston on July 24.