The Best Album You’ve Never Heard Of (Nascent)


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Plenty of music comes out every day and slips by unnoticed.  This article is the first in a series to shine a light on some artists you may not have heard of. For the first entry, we’ll be looking at “Nascent” by Alexander Panos, a 10-track album released on September 22 of this year that blends elements of hip-hop and rock.

This album is more free-form centered around expressionism over consistency. Panos himself describes each song as a “Sound Collage.” The attention to detail on each song is incredible, with the full album taking more than three years to create and finish. While the album is mostly instrumental, it still resonated with me and  will likely do the same for others. Buckle up, since this will be a long ride.

The album starts with a quick intro titled “Q Windswept,” a 1-minute long prologue simply designed to lead you into what the rest of the album will sound like. I quite like this one but wouldn’t find myself going back to it.

However the action ramps up with the next track, and what might be Panos’ most well-known piece, Cycles. Cycles is a journey—6-minutes of incredible sound design and emotional acoustic instruments playing some of the best written harmonies in a long time. This song really works to define the style the rest of the album will take.

“Sutter,” not Stutter, is the next song in the project. This song overall serves as a calm break from the experience that was Cycles. Sutter may have the catchiest melody in the album, with a nice callback to a specific riff that gets repeated throughout the song played by what I could only describe as harmonized gibberish (Just trust me on this one).

“36523_red/blue” (Yes, that is the title) is the next one. This song is probably the most standard of the album, with a clear rhythmic pattern to it. I feel it serves as a nice switch from the experimental music that has taken up the project so far.

But to go right back into it, the next song is “reasonsnotto”, which may be the most interesting one. Panos was able to synthesize a speech to a randomly generated phonetic pattern to, quite literally, create fake words to use and harmonize as lyrics.

After this is the most heavy song on the album, “Dream Extinction.” This one starts off with a more growl-like sound and a lot of creaking noises, then eventually evolving into what one listener called the “supernova” section of the song, a complete explosion of melodic sounds coming together. I feel that this song has the best finale and would highly recommend listening to this song first if you do not plan to listen to the album in order.

Equinox (and the interlude that follows before it) is the first song to fully show Panos’ songwriting skill. The song is a spoken-word poem backed with melodies synced to the rhythm at which the words are spoken. The emotion of Panos’ voice carries the full song into its climactic ending, with the repeated “turn the right way” vocal driving the rest of the tune.

‘catch it’ and ‘re:Turning’ are the last two songs. I group these together because I feel they both work to end off the album in tandem. ‘catch it’ is about the past, with carefree melodies and recordings of nature giving the listener a beautiful, nostalgic feeling. re:Turning is a vocal ballad centered around the struggle with feeling truly human, the quest the album was searching for since the beginning.

I think this project is incredible overall, but it could be simply because I like this experimental style and the risks that people like Alexander Panos were able to take with it. I hope these descriptions were enough motivation to check the full project out, as I did not do it justice describing the talent Panos has. I highly recommend checking Nascent out, and if I had to rate it on a scale, I would give it a 9.4/10, and that is no exaggeration.