17 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bliss n Eso’s fifth album begins with a sample of Charlie Chaplin’s final speech from the 1940 film The Great Dictator. This rousing plea for humanity is an appropriate start to Circus in the Sky, an LP on which MCs Bliss (Jonathan Notley) and Eso (Max MacKinnon) spit some of their most personal lyrics to date. “Home Is Where the Heart Is” recalls their formative years in school over a solid funk beat; “Life’s Midnight” finds Eso recounting the moment when, as a five-year-old, he met his idol, Shabba Doo from the breakdancing film Breakin’, during a family vacation in Los Angeles. Big-name collabs abound (legendary rapper Nas guests on “I Am Somebody”; R&B singer Daniel Merriweather provides vocals on the soulful “Can’t Get Rid of This Feeling”), but none is as fun as “Reservoir Dogs,” featuring fellow Aussie rappers Seth Sentry, Pez, 360, and Drapht, who composed the lyrics over a group email.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bliss n Eso’s fifth album begins with a sample of Charlie Chaplin’s final speech from the 1940 film The Great Dictator. This rousing plea for humanity is an appropriate start to Circus in the Sky, an LP on which MCs Bliss (Jonathan Notley) and Eso (Max MacKinnon) spit some of their most personal lyrics to date. “Home Is Where the Heart Is” recalls their formative years in school over a solid funk beat; “Life’s Midnight” finds Eso recounting the moment when, as a five-year-old, he met his idol, Shabba Doo from the breakdancing film Breakin’, during a family vacation in Los Angeles. Big-name collabs abound (legendary rapper Nas guests on “I Am Somebody”; R&B singer Daniel Merriweather provides vocals on the soulful “Can’t Get Rid of This Feeling”), but none is as fun as “Reservoir Dogs,” featuring fellow Aussie rappers Seth Sentry, Pez, 360, and Drapht, who composed the lyrics over a group email.

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