Music is many things to people, from simple entertainment to artistic statements on greater global topics. For Gavin Kratt, better known as the artist Dead Hendrix, music is both an outlet for his emotions and an exploration of more profound ideas. Nowhere is this clearer than with the artist’s latest EP, “Dead Summer,” a 5-song long genre-hopping project that shows off Dead Hendrix’s creative vision.
Opening with “Don’t Think It Could Get Much Better,” a project highlight showcasing its clever mix of hip-hop and punk. Dead Hendrix’s vocals are nasally but charismatic, retaining a sense of swagger throughout the song’s runtime. The songwriting is a surprisingly nostalgic take on looking back on good times while still being a catchy headbanger.
This eclectic blend of genres is a hallmark of Dead Hendrix’s unique musical style and is key to his growth as an artist. It’s a fascinating pairing of sounds, with the artist using it throughout the record. The next track of the EP, “Alone,” is a drearier song than the previous one, though it still keeps some of its traits.
Embracing the acoustic guitar on “Alone” gives the track a much more laid-back and tired vibe, which matches the songwriting. Lyrically, the song is about feeling lost and not having anyone to fall back on. It’s a surprisingly relatable sentiment, especially as he breaks down the deep-seated reasons he feels that way. It’s a compelling idea paired with hard-hitting beats. It works quite well.
“Can’t Be God,” the third song on the EP, brings the punk and hip-hop influences ever closer to the forefront. Thematically it’s surprisingly dark despite its catchy nature and enjoyable sound. It’s about accepting things as they are sometimes instead of pushing against everything while keeping your head up.
Following this is “Love Game,” one of the singles off of the EP, with the most apparent punk influences on the EP. “Love Game” is much more about heartbreak, dropping dark allusions to the fleeting nature of love. Dead Hendrix complains that he can’t grasp how love works as his thoughts sink deeper and deeper into darker places. Still, he copes through the song and finds his way through.
Closing the EP is “Teenage Dirtbag,” a bonus song that doesn’t add to the narrative of the EP. Instead, it follows closely in the EP’s sound while showcasing its little story. It’s a surprisingly sweet and enjoyable song that we could see also taking off as a hit. There’s a certain sense of catharsis to it that’s prevalent throughout the record, and we enjoy it immensely.
Overall, we found ourselves enjoying the “Dear Summer” EP, and we’re eager to see more from Dead Hendrix in the future. This project is proof of concept for what a Dead Hendrix album could sound like. There’s a lot to love, and the unique blend of genres is new and fresh, so we’re eager to see what the artist has in store for the future.
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