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Language, the full-length debut from Starchild & The New Romantic, is the sound of Bryndon Cook occupying his space with unapologetic eloquence, envisioning a world where the crimson qualities of sensitivity and softness aren’t shamed, they are celebrated as magic.
“Black boys have a whole world of complexity that society makes us stomp out of ourselves.” Language communicates Cook’s refusal to do so. Describing himself early-on as a “young romantic boy from Maryland,” he’s long been a dreamer, a student of black music’s rich lineage and its intersection with pop. Cook is drawn to landmark moments where artists have found truth in darkness; the diverse language of music living in their core. These records in which phrases and motifs are deployed to document worth and define perspective, identity, calls to action. The pop album as artistic statement, as thesis. This record is his; lifting off from the monochrome world of Crucial, his 2016 EP on Ghostly International, up towards a dazzling blood-rush of sky-high defiance and autonomy. On Language, Cook refines his phonics for funk, electro, and R&B, and arrives at a revelation, best summarized by a single motto: “my sensitivity is my strength.”