EP Of The Week: Burial’s New Hotness “Rival Dealer”


From the depths of the UK underground, Burial has risen once again to issue forth future garage gorgeousness. Burial is the only person on the planet that can drop a 3 track EP that lasts 29 minutes and no one will bat an eye. The work is dotted with positive, anti-bullying messages. The odd sample, foreshadowing, leading up to a tremendous quote by a very famous person (I’ll get to a little later) reminding us to believe in ourselves and not give into the haters. He actually sent a text to Mary Anne Hobbs, one of the Radio One aristocracy, discussing his inspiration (via NME)

“I put my heart into the new EP, I hope someone likes it. I wanted the tunes to be anti-bullying tunes that could maybe help someone to believe in themselves, to not be afraid, and to not give up, and to know that someone out there cares and is looking out for them. So it’s like an angel’s spell to protect them against the unkind people, the dark times, and the self-doubts.”

The stupendous production value is on display with the first track (same name as the album). Rival Dealer is a deep, driving but enclosed track, dotted with messages about support, love and bisexuality, tunnels through this space that only he can create. I’ll continue to contend that Burial can best be described as “music you listen to while wearing your favorite hoodie in the rain.”

“Hiders” starts with a vocal sample of “There’s a kid somewhere” evoking a very raw feel of the idea that there are children who fear for their safety and flee the light. The sounds are murky, but hopeful. There samples continue, keeping you guessing, and almost hoping things turn out ok.

“Excuse me, I’m lost” begins “Come Down to Us, the 13 min opus of the EP. It’s almost a ballad, with the shimmering vocals leaking out between the cloudy bass. Burial is also one of the only artists on the planet right now that can put more than one or two ideas into a track and not lose anything from them. The melodies and energy build gradually over time, even when the track seems to be turning into something completely different. Without knowing it, you’ve gone from dark to light and eight minutes in (that’s right kids, eight, and we’re nowhere near done) we’re in this triumphant, hopeful and sunny place, reminding you, that you’re not alone. This is capped off by a speech, one of the first obviously/overtly political samples in the entirety of his discography. Lana Wachowski discusses her experience of being transgendered and how she was able to remind herself of her inherent worth and value, even under the onslaught of bullshit from people.

The fact that this kind of message is coming from Burial makes me even more reverent of his work. He could literally say anything, but he chose a strong anti-bullying & trans-positive message, not the easiest position to take on these here internets. Kudos to you Burial. Can’t wait for my copy in the mail.

13 thoughts on “EP Of The Week: Burial’s New Hotness “Rival Dealer”

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