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American duo 18+ are making their label debut with the release of a double single on Fabric offshoot Houndstooth, but they’ve been low-key establishing a fanatic following for years now with the self-release of M1xtape, Mixta2e and Mixtap3. Lead track “Crow” is a world of its own: a highlight from Mixtap3, it’s gothic R&B made with a sparse post-internet aesthetic. What forms the crux of the faceless pair’s appeal, though, is the wry smile it’s served with. You might think you imagined lines like “dat ass go in circles” and “weed makes her cry” floating around in the stony-faced downtempo croon, but you can’t put it past these two, whose output is full of sordid, dry humour. If anything, their brand new video only emphasises that knowingness that runs through earlier 18+ visuals – such as “Rebirth”, which repurposes Lana Del Rey and A$AP Rocky’s “repurposed” "National Anthem" video – with touches like a Youtube pre-roll ad embedded in the actual video, an emoji winking over the grim refrain “pretend that you’re happy” and a minute of silence lingering after the music abruptly drops off, giving you time to decide whether you need to laugh, cry or reblog it first.
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