HXLT (Ft. Kathleen Hanna) • "Together"

  Courtesy of the artist

Courtesy of the artist

No one has had a longer build up to a new album than HXLT. Damn near the ambassador to Chicago's creative class at this point, it's been literally almost five years I think since we last saw a full collection from the multi-talented hometown hero and today dude continued the tease game with the release of his new one, "Together" featuring Kathleen Hanna that continues to push in a new direction that is increasingly eclectic as his last visual certainly underlines.

While it's been a long wait, the latest offering arrives with some hope. Alongside the release was a promise of the full-length, HXLT due on February 26 via Def Jam/Good Music and if this one is any indication of what's to come, I'm very excited. While much of HXLT's new music may cause longtime fans to feel somewhat abandoned by forays into new sonic directions, the style never really feels forced or overdone for the wrong reasons. If you read any of these blog posts I write you'll probably notice I reference a Hemingway quote often: "Writing isn't hard, you simply sit at your typewriter and bleed on the page." In that sense, this single with original riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna, feels covered in blood. 

It appears as though HXLT has been preparing his fanbase for this upcoming album, systematically cascading his work into a new vertical while creating an endearing sound that seems true to himself as well. This one in particular is poignant for it's attempts at discussing the dysfunction of the artist's hometown utilizing a sound that is not often associated with the message. Having dressed in punk themes before Young Thug and Vic Mensa made it trendy and once existed as a public figure unable to make the music he wanted, he feels a certain connectedness to feeling misunderstood in society. 

Speaking to NPR, HXLT said about the creation of the song: "I came up with the guitar melody first," Holt says of the song's genesis. "The melody made me feel like I needed to tell people how I felt. How they should fight to live the life they want to live. How if everyone comes together we can make anything happen."

Check it out for yourself above.