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Find comfort in Crankdat’s return to emotional side with ‘Sad Robot’ EP (DMNW Review)

We may be well into the sunshine of summer, but it seems like there’s something lurking around the corner. It could be returning to mask mandates, it could be wildfire season chugging full steam ahead, or maybe something else. Regardless, if you need some new music that captures the colorful feeling of summer with a sprinkling of melancholy, the new Crankdat EP is for you.

For his debut EP on Monstercat, Crankdat revealed the five synth-led melodic tracks on Sad Robot. Each song is somewhat of a contradiction; tracks contain both sorrowful chords but optimism achieved through punchy bass-lines with enough teeth to stick. It’s certainly not the producer’s heaviest EP, but it stands alone as a testament to Crankdat’s range and depth.

While enlisting the support of vocalists JT Roach and KC for Better Without You and What It Feels Like respectively, both tracks are suitable for singing loudly. Both tracks take you through a story as old as time of love and loss, of reconciling a breakup. If the lyrics weren’t enough to stir some emotion in you, the melodic bass-lines will.

Sad Robot also features the release of the collaboration with rising melodic bass artist Ace Aura. Although all of the tracks on the EP share a similar colorful, melodic-driven riddim theme, somehow The Feeling also incorporates the unique sound of Ace Aura.

Crankdat returns to label with a more emotional side

This isn’t the first time the 22 year old producer has dabbled with the Monstercat label. During the pandemic, he hosted a live stream takeover on the label’s live broadcast. For his first release on the label, Crankdat put out Kneel Before Me with SLANDER back in 2018 before his own single, Tell Me, the following year. But much earlier than that, Ohio-based Christian Smith has been making music since he was a teenager.

During the first days of the Crankdat project, Smith showcased the same emotional-leaning tracks and remixes that make up Sad Robot. Coming full circle and then some, the EP pays homage to where he’s been as an artist and could indicate where he’s going.

Although he’s yet to announce a formal tour, we’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll make an appearance in the PNW. It may be just speculation, but chances are likely given his consecutive 2017-2019 run of festivals and one headlining show in Seattle. If you can’t wait that long, check out his set for the Adventure Club-hosted live stream takeover from Insomniac last year.

Crankdat’s EP is one you can play endlessly

No matter how you slice it, it’s quite a time to be alive. So if you feel that existential feeling but still want to enjoy some energetic and fun music, press play on this EP. Full of synth-led bass and upbeat chords sized up against emotive lyrics, Crankdat has delivered a product you can listen to on a loop. Listen to Sad Robot by Crankdat, out now on Monstercat.


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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!