Published Dec 27, 2016As promised, Jonathan Emile is bestowing his Phantom Pain upon us today (December 27), giving us all a chance to close the book on 2016 in style. The album is out now across various streaming platforms, and you can dig into the entire album here at Exclaim!
As previously reported, the Montreal rapper's second full-length ventures into darker territory, becoming what Emile calls "an echo of things lost." This all starts out with the Dandeezy-produced "Where We Go From Here" — a sky-scraping, synth-slathered number that sets the album's darkly atmospheric tone.
From there, we get the soaring, Ezra Lewis-equipped "Limit" (complete with a ripping guitar solo from Dylan Lazarus), the chopped and glitched-up "Phantom Pain," and the beautifully textured, piano-twinkling "Heart of an Enemy," which finds Natasha Marie delivering a show-stealing performance.
Captured at Illnote Studios in Toronto, the album also features contributions from producers Lowgo, Young Kico, Notion and Cee Goods.
In a previously released statement, Emile had this to say about the new album:
Phantom Pain is like an echo of things lost. It's a big part of what I experienced battling cancer. It's a loss of faith, innocence and certainty. The whole project is a dark commentary on struggle and what it means to lose something and continue pushing forward; being changed by time itself. A lot of it is inspired by existentialism and phenomenology. So much of life is about making in through adversity, knowing parts of yourself are gone forever and understanding how that changes your very existence.
Phantom Pain is where your heroes are exposed as frauds, your abilities are slowly handicapped and the truth is revealed as exhausting and complex. I grapple with survivor's guilt, inner frustrations, grievances with industry and knowing the world itself has taken a major turn for the worse.
To hear how that all plays out on record, stream all of Phantom Pain below.