Stardust

Yung Lean

Stardust

Hailing from Sweden—and the crevices of the extremely online—the baby-faced Yung Lean is a modern type of OG. In the early 2010s, he used impressionistic songwriting and vibey, lo-fi instrumentals to pioneer the sound of cloud-rap, and Stardust—his first release since 2020's Starz—is a reminder of that legacy. With their ethereal instrumentals, slurred melodies, and vulnerable lyrics, tracks like "All the Things" and "Waterfall" scan as quintessential Lean, recalling the free-wheeling, emotional approach of the Sad Boys music collective he helped create in 2012. He’s still trying out new things, too: For “Summertime Blood,” he dives all the way into EDM for an epic Skrillex collab (one of two on the album). Meanwhile, on the FKA twigs-assisted "Bliss," he blends his semi-free-associative bars and indifferent monotone with a fuzzy, New Wave-inflected guitar line to create an unpredictable post-punk anthem, showcasing the type of rewarding experimentation that first propelled him to fame.

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