Naarm/Melbourne hip-hop artist Teether has dropped short yet striking new single ‘One Layer’ and announced his fourth studio album.
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Clocking in at less than a minute and a half long, ‘One Layer’ shines with warbly, fuzzed-out electric guitars, subtle bass and dry, muffled percussion. Teether’s sharp and authoritative bars dominate the mix, rapping in a standout passage: “I’m essential to the state / Still I played chicken with the pigs on the way / When I looked the white devil right in his face / Ain’t felt the same since / Either way, eyes on the pavement.”
The track arrives today (April 19) alongside a fittingly abrasive video. Helmed by Phillip Paul Dixon VII, it shows a shirtless Teether, donning a bondage mask and lit by harshly flashing strobe lights, flexing and grooving along to the track. Have a look at the clip below:
‘One Layer’ marks the first preview of Teether’s upcoming fourth album, ‘MACHONA: Afar, You Are An Animal’, due for release on May 27 via X Amount Records. In a statement shared with Verve Magazine, he explained that ‘One Layer’ was “the song that defined this project for me”, as it “represented the energy I wanted to capture”.
He continued: “The title refers to a theory I came across somewhere at some point: that this particular realm we live in is both heaven and hell – or some sort of purgatory. Whatever it is, it’s strange. It’s horrific and incredible all at once.
“Each line in this song is a lone thought that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the one before it. Just a bunch of first person experiences and observations. Put together though, it eventually makes sense. That’s life, you know? A bunch of shit happens and you gotta make some sort of sense of it at the end of the day. Or not… Depends what happens next.”
‘MACHONA: Afar, You Are An Animal’ was described in a press release as “an observation on self and surroundings”, which explores Teether’s “process of discovery and acceptance” over a three-month period of isolation during last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns. It’s said to be a concept album written from a first-person perspective, with Teether’s primary inspiration being his Tumbuka and Toccolan heritage.
The title is reportedly drawn from a combination of Tumbuka sayings, with ‘MACHONA’ referring to “a generation that left a colonised Malawi in search of resources to send home, only to never return”, while ‘Afar, You Are An Animal’ touches on “the importance of family and home to Tumbuka people and the lonely state that a disconnection from this brings”.
Expounding on these themes, Teether said: Where I grew up, everyone was new to the area. Being the first ones in generations to live an entire life elsewhere is a wild thing. Especially descending from a people that were an ethnic minority even back home.
“To figure out what it even means to be here, and what to do with such a responsibility is something I’m still working on. The thoughts and conclusions on this album are some of what I’ve settled on after 25 years in this particular place.”