Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014

Stream the Tantalizing Debut EP from CLLCTIVE's Mystery Artist Wyatt

By Evan Rytlewski
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Since launching this spring, the Milwaukee Internet label CLLCTIVE has established itself as a destination for below-the-radar music, amassing a quick library of unusual electronica, indie-pop and ambient soul. Though it can be difficult to keep up with every release, the label’s Bandcamp page is a great place to park with a pair of headphones and just get lost for an hour or two, and this month the label posted perhaps the best entry point yet into its particular "vaporwave" aesthetic: a striking self-titled EP from a singer-songwriter known as Wyatt.

The EP teases a lot of reference points during its brief, 15-minute run time, with echoes of Youth Lagoon’s digital pop, James Blake’s soulful electronica, Drake’s “Marvin’s Room” melancholy, and Joan of Arc’s tinkered, insular emo. So where is this guy coming from, exactly? Unfortunately, that’s hard to answer. Wyatt is keeping his identity secret, and while that usually signals a lazy publicity campaign—the mysteries behind “mystery” artists are almost never worth cracking—label founder Ryan King says Wyatt has good reason for the anonymity.

“He is in bigger more known band that I cannot mention,” King explains. "Wyatt specifically told me if I wanted to release his EP I couldn't tell anyone. He wrote these songs while touring with this other band but is bound by a major label in the manner that he isn't allowed to put out any other music except for what the ‘bigger band’ does. So I agreed to his terms and he requested that I do what I wish with it as far as releasing it. He said, ‘I honestly just want people to hear it, and from here will continue with my main band.’”

So there you have it: a potentially one-off release from an artist whose identity we might possibly never know. You can stream it below.


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