In early 2019, Dominic Fike—then a still relatively unknown singer from Naples, Florida, with curious face tattoos and a bleached blond buzz cut—announced that he was at work on his first official full-length. In the 18 months that followed, he became a Gen Z household name. He was showered with praise on social media by several Kardashians and DJ Khaled, starred in a short film by BROCKHAMPTON, and appeared on high-profile collaborations with Omar Apollo, Kevin Abstract, and Halsey, the latter of whom named an interlude on her blockbuster album Manic after him. And yet, despite all the hype, Fike retained a sense of mystery; beyond the GQ fashion spreads, psychedelic cameos, and confusing comparisons to Jack Johnson and Post Malone, not much was known about the 24-year-old behind the mic. What Could Possibly Go Wrong, his imaginative and lightly sarcastic debut album, feels like the first proper introduction to Fike’s nostalgic, colorful, and genre-less worldview.
Swerving between brooding, billowing indie ballads (“Politics & Violence”) and sardonic cultural commentary housed in conversational rap (“Cancel Me”), Fike takes trendy pop stylings—tuneful melodies, easygoing rhythms, and a certain stoner listlessness—and twists them into freewheeling mash-ups and fringe abstractions. It’s at once daydreamy and hyperactive, full of conflicting tones and energies: “10x Stronger” is a flourish of orchestral strings and la-di-da harmonies, “Florida” is woozy and strung-out, and the chopped-up and free-form “Joe Blazey” feels like a front-row seat to someone else’s acid trip with vocals pitched and warped to get under your skin. His taste for surf-rock textures and sturdy hooks affords the project aesthetic consistency; even when he drifts far out, you know exactly where you are. Fike credits some of this to occasional co-writer Jim-E Stack, whose recent credits include Bon Iver and Charli XCX. “He’s taught me so much in our sessions, because we just work,” Fike tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, explaining that they both have similarly introspective methods. “He’ll take a project home by himself and no one’s looking at him, and then he’ll send you what his thoughts are. And I love that, because I need the same thing.”
Double Negative (Skeleton Milkshake)
Whats For Dinner?
Politics & Violence
14 SONGS, 34 MINUTES
JULY 31, 2020
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