Press Play: Rough Year – Arch

‘Arch’ is the epic 11 minute track from young trans artist, Rough Year. Hailing from Philadelphia, the politically charged artist covers themes of dispossession, alienation and forced assimilation. Focusing their work toward the resurgence of civil rights protests around the world, ‘Arch’ layers samples of spoken word and vocals over a menacing beat of percussion and kicks. ‘Arch’ is the follow up to the full length ‘Mongrel’ EP, out now.

Unlike many electronic musicians, who seem content to work with ill-defined and ambivalent moods, North Philadelphia’s Rough Year is first and foremost a story-teller, whose work has a clear thematic focus. Their music is characterized by themes of dispossession, abandonment, alienation and forced assimilation. Specifically, Rough Year has turned their attention toward the resurgence of civil rights protests around the world. ‘Arch’ and ‘Gland’, two stand-alone singles by Rough Year, form a direct snapshot into the dark subject matter via sprawling beats and glitchy experimentalism, working alongside Mongrel, their debut EP, to illustrate the story of daily urban resistance and the ultimate triumph of human dignity against oppression.

Although the final message ultimately seems to be a redemptive one, a foreboding sense of doom nevertheless lingers over the entire body of work.