Lucid Dreams

Lucid Dreams

While his camouflaged visage, TikTok-spawned success, and uncommon dedication to the ukulele have all the makings of a novelty act, alt-pop enigma BoyWithUke has proven he’s no fluke. Lucid Dreams is his fourth full-length album in two years, each united under an overarching theme of “dreams” to explore the deepest recesses of his psyche. And though he remains beholden to his formula of pop-punk melodies, rap swagger, and folky fingerpicking, his songwriting has burrowed further inward as his sonic vision expands outward: Even if the self-flagellating “Rockstar” expresses his desire to escape the spotlight and “go back to my room,” its exuberant dance-pop production suggests he better get used to a life spent rocking the crowd. That introvert/extrovert tension hits a fever pitch on “Trauma,” whose heart-racing beats frame a disarmingly vulnerable autobiographical account of his hardscrabble upbringing. He may be famous for hiding his face behind his signature LED mask, but on Lucid Dreams, BoyWithUke is unafraid to reveal all.

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