A Backing Track for Your Escapist Fantasy | “Beach Episode (filler)” by Rav

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Norene Bassin, Writer/Volunteer

The London-based rapper and producer Rav strays away from his usual sound on his newest EP. Unlike his 2015 breakout album Beneath the Toxic Jungle, full of hard-hitting beats and energetic vocals, SCHOOL OF ERROR is a laid-back instrumental project. In a Twitter post, Rav cites this project as a beat tape to hold fans over while he works on his next album.

Rav has been in the Internet music scene since the late 2000’s, founding the record label EXOCIETY with his friend and closely-associated act Kill Bill: The Rapper in 2013. The two are commonly featured in each other’s work, notably “Lovedrug (Off That)” off their 2019 collaborative project New Moon.

Beach Episode (filler)” is the fifth track off of the 10-song EP. The title references a common trope in anime series, where episodes about a show’s characters going to the beach are often used as filler between plot development. This EP could be described as filler between his major projects.

The song opens with a groovy bass line and plodding percussion that carries throughout the track. The repeating piano motif and guitar riff add emotion to a track that otherwise lacks direction. However, listeners should note that this track was created to be rapped over. For those feeling it lacks depth, pay attention to Rav’s work to see if he brings this song to fruition with the emotional lyrics he’s known for.

Compared to other tracks on the EP, “Beach Episode (filler)” has a lot more energy than the rest. For example, the last song, “if your life has a why, you can bear almost any how,” has a very mellow beat and slower tempo. The title already alludes to darker themes of finding one’s reason to live, leaving little room for other forms of interpretation. 

Songs without lyrics leave more room for the listener’s imagination. The lo-fi inspired boom bap track creates the imagery of walking home alone on a cloudy day in a beachfront town, making it the perfect soundtrack for the commute between classes. For those desiring to feel like the main character, walk around campus with this track in your headphones, keep your hands in your pockets and stare longingly at the horizon while thinking about how you’re too good for your hometown.