Album of the Day: Aaron Abernathy, “Epilogue”

Aaron Abernathy’s latest LP, Epilogue is the last album in a trilogy that began in 2016. The previous installments featured ruminations on love, race, and society through Abernathy’s unique twist on modern soul; Epilogue skews personal, documenting a recent breakup and chronicling the journey to redemption and self-actualization that followed. The album is broken up by snippets of phone conversations about the breakup, using the spoken words to outline the emotional effect while the songs expound on the broader themes.

Musically, Epilogue traverses a wide range of styles: “Vent of Love” employs 808 kicks and the clear influence of trap music, while “I Want You Again,” with is falsetto vocal line and twinkling piano, recalls the heyday of Motown. “Wounded Hearts Club,” with its stuttering rhythms, popping bass and blinking electronics, feels like a distant cousin to ‘80s electro-funk, while the luxurious “Revisions” draws on the sound of ‘90s neo-soul. Epilogue’s wide stylistic range mirrors the turbulence in the aftermath of a breakup—crushing lows followed by euphoric highs. The different moods give Abernathy’s story depth and texture, but the pain of the event is always close to the surface.

-Vance Brinkley

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