Self-awareness is key, and Haze Daze getting in touch with that allows him to separate himself from the pack, reaching territory where only a handful others reside. But of course his latest track, “Shadows” is also the embodiment of the current culture. The song is the unification of the SoundCloud elite sound and the figures who came directly before, it’s an embracement of that short but rich history. Knowing your strengths or limitations is a skill that few have. Haze Daze on “Shadows”, is not only able to avoid any potential limits, but also accentuate his strengths. The track is packaged for the nu wave rap world, but exists easily just fine outside of it too.
The nu wave has no shortage of colorful personalities, but few and far between are the figures delivering credible musicianship; the ones whose work will linger long after the craze may crumble to dust in an ever-evolving genre. Haze Daze, whether he identifies with his inclusion in this movement or not, is precisely this kind of figure, a calling confirmed in his latest single.
Haze Daze is operating on a sonic playing field everyone is trying to step into, in hip-hop or otherwise. One of the smartest decisions made on “Shadows” is ensuring that it offers pop tones and textures, polished, and fine-tuned for a very wide audience.
All of which isn’t surprising, given that Haze Daze is not giving us simple raps – he is giving us an all-embracing artistic view. Or, if you will, a vibe. A very smooth one, at that. The sonic world of Haze Daze is rich and inviting; a hermetically-sealed pleasure-dome built from delicately skittering hi-hats, pulsating basslines and lofty clouds of keyboard swirls.
Haze Daze himself flits in and out, offering nuances of melodic crooning, and simply letting his rhymes melt into the ether of the beat. This is evidenced right from the get-go on “Shadows”, where a veritable chorus swells up to a reverberating mantra “Feels like I’m really walking in your shadows.”
There are untold bittersweet layers of Haze Daze’s voice at work here, continually surrounding the ear at every individual moment. This proves to be a huge boon for the record, as his vocal trills get absorbed seamlessly into the atmosphere. It adds rich flavors to the finished product without overpowering any of the other main ingredients.
The richly-fabricated world of the track is full of so much subtlety, so many nuanced contours, that its length, though brief, is fully satisfying. The two minute plus “Shadows”, allows us to zero in quickly, and notice its crisp moments of musical radiance, and the mellifluous tones of Haze Daze’s vocal that hovers around from start to end.