Pulled together over the course of 2021, Stardust is the latest entry in Yung Lean’s mixtape series – but don’t be fooled by the low-stakes release. Featuring heavyweights such as FKA twigs, Skrillex, and Drain Gang’s Bladee, Ecco2k and Thaiboy Digital, the Swedish rapper’s first full-length project as Yung Lean since 2020’s Starzand is an exhilarating ride that goes far beyond the emo-rap that brought him viral fame in the 2010s.
From the lo-fi art-rock opener “Bliss”, which recalls the narcoleptic folk sounds of the artist’s Jonatan Leandoer127 side project, to the upbeat cloud rap of “Trip” and the androgynous whispers of “SummerTime Blood”, the sounds are vast and nonchalant – Yung Lean’s alienated wordplay is the only thing binding them together. Following his brush with mainstream fame earlier this year, which led to Lean hanging out with the likes of Kanye West and Drake, it seems that the Sad Boy rapper is making moves to diversify his zeitgeist-defining sound.
Elsewhere, LA teen four-piece The Linda Lindas share their heartwarming debut, Orville Peck releases a bold new album, and Vince Staples returns to Ramona Park on his fifth studio album.