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Destin Laurel finds his lane on debut EP ‘Searching for Klarity’

East Atlanta’s Destin Laurel dropped his long awaited ‘Searching for Klarity’ on Wednesday (March 8).

After much searching, Destin Laurel has finally arrived to make his mark as one of the underground’s most savvy newcomers.

With no features and seven new tracks — in addition to the previously released fan-favorite “i suppose’” — his new self-produced EP is designed to shine a light on the refreshing, category-defying sound that’s piqued the interest of the industry and the underground alike.

While it’s unclear exactly what genre you might categorize Searching for Klarity, it’s beyond apparent that the 18-year-old artist-producer from East Atlanta is on to something. While his sound and attitude are certainly rooted in hip-hop and the SoundCloud underground, he also incorporates different elements of R&B, neo-soul and even gospel to create a wholly unique style that feels like a breath of fresh air.

From the layered production, to the accompanying merch, to the order and naming scheme of the tracks, the project is full of interesting and intentional choices. It opens with “searching’”, a spacey intro that leads into “high’” and “arc’go,” two of Destin’s favorites that really set the tone for the moody feel and incredibly dynamic approach he takes throughout the project.

Later on songs like “win’or’lose,” “condition’” and “anesthesia’”, he really opens up to effortlessly flow between tender melodies and confident rap bars – all while delivering fully baked thoughts and exploring themes well beyond his years. It all builds towards a climax on “i suppose’” — a tender R&B ballad that crescendoes into a bass-bumping dance track of swirling synths and catchy melodies that quickly became his biggest song to date after it first dropped last year.

Overall, Searching for Klarity feels unique, elevated and remarkably cohesive for a first official outing – which makes it all the more impressive when you remember that the multifaceted arrangements were all produced by Destin himself (with 2 assists on “high’” and “condition’”). After building anticipation in the preceding months with weekly “Westin Wednesday” releases and a notable feature on Skaiwater‘s “Auto,” the project feels well worth the wait.

Already off to a strong start in 2023, it will be interesting to see how the promising newcomer continues to develop throughout the year and beyond. 

Listen to Destin Laurel’s ‘Searching for Klarity’ below