|Photo by Gilliane E. Mansfeldt|
After taking some time away from music last year, T.Q.D. of the Background Noise Crew sat down and wrote his latest album Taketh Away
in under a month. "I don't like to work on things slowly. My attitude is, let's get it done," says The Quiet Dude. "I've never made an album this fast. I know what I need to say,". Listening to the record gives the impression the topics have been stewed over and are finally seeing full expression.
Lyrically and sonically, this is a dark album, with themes of death and loss circling throughout. A self-described reserved speaker (Reserved was also his first rap name), T.Q.D. has a lot to say when prompted properly, and he is most comfortable delving into the dark side of life. "That's all I really want to talk about. That's all I can think about is serious stuff. I love focusing on the negative. That sounds weird, but I just do. I'm always looking at that negative angle. There are people who make music where I'm like, you know what? That's just too happy for me. It's making me depressed with how happy it is,". Ironically, though, the songs come off as somewhat upbeat in that the rapper clearly enjoys inhabiting the difficult space he's created.
"I've always wanted to make De La Soul's Stakes Is High. There's maybe one song on there that's light-hearted, the rest of it is pretty serious. But it's presented in such a way that it's a very light-hearted feel. That's something I'm striving for," His third official album since beginning to rap in the late '90s (not including a slew of "Appetizer" records which serve as mixtapes of sorts), this album is T.Q.D.'s most direct and cohesive project since 2006's Not Yet. The album's production, handled entirely by Salt Lake City's Vividend, manages to find a musical vibe that's an appropriate backbone, as likely to incorporate plodding drums and sorrowful pianos as it is twangy banjos and whistling. The album was fully selected and sequenced before one word was written, and T.Q.D. sinks right into each beat naturally with some powerful and heavy subject matter.
But this is definitely not downer music, and T.Q.D. aims to prove how hard his introspective sensibilities hit in a live setting at his CD release tonight. The night is packed with solid performers, including The Tribe and Big Cats!, Analyrical, 925ve, and Rich Garvey, all of whom share the headliner's penchant for real and personal lyricism and his quality stage show.
T.Q.D. Taketh Away CD Release, with The Tribe and Big Cats!, Analyrical, 925ve, Rich Garvey. Hell's Kitchen, 80 S. 9th St. Friday, Jan. 27, 10 PM, $5
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