Published Jan 15, 2016After delivering his Future Memoirs EP in 2014, which caught the attention of Kanye West and led to his feature on the mega-hit "All Day" in 2015, the release of his Allan Kingdom's new mixtape, Northern Lights, finds him far from his birthplace of Winnipeg, MB. However, much like the Aurora Borealis itself, the 22-year old Minnesota-based newcomer's 13-track effort is a force field of magnetic energy, a force worthy of at least a little awe.
Executively produced by Plain Pat and Jonathan Kaslow, the former managers of Kanye West and Kid Cudi, respectively, Northern Lights evokes the early days of both artists' careers. Allan Kingdom kicks off his journey with "The Ride," introducing his unusual voice and delivery before diving into the compelling "Fables," which features the captivating vocals of reggae artist Chronixx.
Kingdom's ability to work with others is evident on the hypnotizing "Hypocrite" and "Believe" (Jared Evans join him on the former and provided the instrumental for the latter), both of which find Allan telling personal stories about his life's most intimate struggles. Although he carves out a unique sonic lane on the bulk of Northern Lights, he walks a mile too far in Kid Cudi's shoes on the title track and "Disconnect," both of which he co-produced with Plain Pat.
By contrast, "Interruption" and "Go Fish" (the only self-produced cut here), cater directly to Allan's strengths, indicating the formation of a blueprint that could become his sonic kingdom in the future. (Independent)