Song of the Day: DoNormaal – Ego Slave

photo by Matthew B. Thompson (view set)

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Ego Slave” by Seattle based rapper DoNormaal, off her self-released record Third Daughter.

DoNormaal – Ego Slave (MP3)

There are so many Seattle based musical projects that are creating consistently great output, especially artists representing the ranks of QTPoC in the city. Even given the strength of this musical pie-slice as a whole, it is rare that Seattle is ever blessed with being in such close proximity to an artist like DoNormaal. The sonic and emotional landscapes present in her last two records and most powerfully her most recent release Third Daughter have solidified DoNormaal irrevocably in her own lane. Her sound features a huge range of vocal stylings,  lullaby whispers, dissonant chanting, and straight bars wrap around cloudy, ethereal trap bangers. The sound is indicative of the work of the 69/50 crew whose collective output has been arguably the strongest, most specific musical movement to emerge from the city since right before people started using the word “grunge.”

On “Ego Slave,” DoNormaal reaches into a heart space of everything the self has to understand about its own perception. The eyes of friends, family, fans, critics, and most importantly herself are all contrasted against each other and sorted through. The rap trope of the braggadocios ego-ballads is re-contextualized as DoNormaal discusses how she appears to which pairs of eyes, whose eyes those are and how much those eyes matter. The triumph and angst of this discussion take place over the immediacy of fellow Seattleite and producer Luna God’s insistent guitar and dreamy synth.

You can catch DoNo’s consistently incredible live show at Chop Suey on Monday, September 4th, supported by frequent collaborator RVN (FKA Raven Matthews), Pearl, and So Pitted. Third Daughter is currently available for purchase on bandcamp and available to stream through Soundcloud. Below, check out DoNormaal’s fantastic video for “Fifty Jasper Horses,” off her sophomore release Jump Or Die, directed by fellow Seattle aesthetic polymath Una Blue.

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