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Merc Mason brings an Australian drawl to dark trap in his debut EP Lucid

Australian hip hop is blowing up, and with a bunch of hot releases this year alone, it seems that we just can’t get enough of the unique take our country has to offer. Introducing Merc Mason.

He’s drawing from trap legends Gucci Mane and A$AP Ferg, but there’s a distinct charm and swagger which can only be tied to his local connections. Having already received huge acclaim for recently released single Pull Up, Hop Out, I was pretty keen to get around his debut EP Lucid and get a better idea of where Mason’s head has been in its production.

Pull Up, Hop Out starts with a spacey haze and jumps straight into epic trap verse, Merc Mason keeping it dirty, broad and distinctly Australian.

The record features five tracks, soaked in attitude and sharp lyricism the whole way through. Filled with sass and shade, Merc Mason doesn’t waste any time.

Repping his home town in South Sydney with smatterings of American pop culture, the song slows and deepens into an effected, sludgy vocal in its conclusion.

Never That cuts straight through any expectations. A snippet of dialogue directed at the audience introduces the track, making it blindingly clear that this is an artist with something to say.

The narrative isn’t unfamiliar to a trap audience, where drugs, alcohol and social struggle are frequented themes. But the specific nods to Sydney’s geography and very nuanced references to Australian youth culture roused in me a real sense of pride.

Glittering and darkly different to the first two tracks, Interlude is a trap gem. Admittedly, I rarely hear a trap track by an Aussie artist that I’m truly gripped by, yet Merc Mason has nailed that smoky, pounding heartbeat and husky slur.

With echoing, ominous opening vocals, there is a promising introduction to Paper Planes, but I feel like there is a bit too much going on in this one. Something doesn’t stand out, the instrumental seems to swallow the vocals, leaving the track feeling slightly disjointed. A brief moment of uncertainty in an otherwise commanding release.

The EP wraps up with a synth infused closer First Time, where clarity of tone and a swift entry into the chorus makes it a banger from the start. It’s glamorous and ambitious, and that broad accent cuts through harder than ever, resulting in a sharp and well articulated commentary.

Merc Mason has certainly impressed with a well produced and character filled EP. Lucid is a solid introduction to his music and has solidified himself as an artist to watch.

Lucid is out now. 

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September 4, 2017