Butterfly Haus’s latest studio album is a healthy offering of alternative hip hop that veers a little toward rock at points, and a little towards dream pop at others, all the while maintaining a consistent moodiness and vibe that set it apart, making it easily stand out.
Butterfly Haus is the moniker of Nigerian-American producer and songwriter Osaze Akerejah. Osaze, formerly called SAZE, is based in Brooklyn, and this last studio album of his, titled Time Bomb Season, has been released in the wake of a stage 4 cancer diagnosis, which has doubtlessly influenced the sounds and colors we hear on the album, as well as influenced a lot of the lyrics too. Approaching this album I was adamant about putting the diagnosis aside and focusing on the music within, but I was delighted to find out that the album is masterful. Most of the songs in here are chill at heart, even the more sizzling tracks sizzle in a calm and collected way. The harmonies are more often than not eerie and unsettling, and they meet their match with Osaze’s bold lyrics and dynamic flows in the hip-hop cuts, and with his memorable delivery and vocal techniques on the more pop or rock cuts.
Topless Tesla is a standout hip-hop cut with a chilling progression that lingers for a long time after it ends. The flows are top notch and the lyrics are sublime, with an unquestionable edge that’s infinitely dark. I’m Up is another landmark on the album. With distinctive 90s-inspired drum sounds, more lazy and charismatic flows from Osaze, and a progression that’s just melancholic, the song is a coherent piece of chill prose. The instrumental outro to it is also full of color. Used To The Pills is a heartbreaking acoustic ballad with personal lyrics. It’s as hard to hear as it is drop-dead gorgeous. SYNESTHESIA FREESTYLE is my personal favorite of the record. The tight, driving beats, and the artful, intricate, and endlessly rich lyrics are on fire, the melancholy seems under control, like sizzling coals in a steam engine, it is masterfully used to fuel the vibes and propel the piece forward.
Time Bomb Season is a fresh and artful collection of songs from a man at the peak of his creative limitations, proving that angst breeds unforgettable art if properly utilized. I thoroughly enjoyed Butterfly Haus’s debut release, and I’ll be awaiting more music from Osaze, as I diligently pray and wish for bountiful days for him.