The collaborators weren’t chosen by accident. Edgar and Brown are both natives of Detroit and contributors to that great city’s cultural revival. “Get Up” starts with a grimy bass and a higher, tightly-coiled electronic effect that seems to rub itself against one eardrum and then the other. Brown’s lyrics are somewhere between inspirational and hopelessly bleak. “Get up off your ass, n—-,” he spits, “You gots to do better.” But this comes in the context of great personal and societal pressures. On the one hand, “Nobody gotta like you/ That’s why I be by my lonely.” But the world won’t always leave you alone, and the desire to “do better,” sometimes runs into systemic biases. “Black man shot, night then the stretcher/ Under too much damm presser.”
As for SOPHIE, she and Edgar have worked together several times in their day-jobs as ghostwriters and behind-the-scenes wizards for big stars. As he explained in a statement,
“SOPHIE and I met at Fabric in London in the 2010s and since then we have performed live together as well as worked together with artists such as Charli XCX and Vince Staples. ‘Metal’ is reflective of our love for designer sounds finely sculpted on boutique computer equipment.”
It’s hard to judge if “Metal” was made on
ridiculously expensive “designer” and “boutique” equipment, but this instrumental track certainly sounds like nothing else. In addition to the sludge dark bass, there’s skittering percussion, a droning whine, and melodic lines that sound like a saw on metal pipes, a string instrument made out of coarse brass wires, and something that I can only describe as a series of oil bubbles popping on cue. Check out “Metal” and “Get Up” below.