Hear Two Stories, At Once, Twice
The dynamic duo of Sentence and Swell, more commonly known as Metermaids, deliver a series of legendary mash-ups and remixes on their latest release, Nightlife in Illinoise. Borrowing from singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise, the MC’s add lyrics and beats from their own Nightlife, resulting in an enjoyable way to listen to both albums, simultaneously.
Metermaids have a vocal sound similar to Atmosphere, but work the hip-hop remix scene comparable to Girl Talk or Danger Mouse. Self-proclaimed as “rap’s bad news bears,” their newest keeps a listener interested.
Although the lyrics are identical to those on Nightlife‘s tracks, the new tracks sound nothing like the original. The strategic juxtaposition to Stevens’ instrumentals create a completely different and possibly better listen. As leaders of the underground hip-hop scene, Sentence and Swell represent their genre, taking lyrics “All for the love of this hip-hop, hip-hop” in hand with the folk sound of Stevens’ “They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhh!”
Don’t let the story-like track names steer you away; it’s just one of many things from Stevens’ original. Names aside, the album brings together two very different types of music, and two very different listeners. Thankfully, six of the thirteen tracks are accompanied by a completely instrumental version, so you never miss a beat or guitar riff.