Tyler Aphex is making quite the first impression with his debut single, “antisocial.”
Seemingly out of nowhere, Tyler Aphex emerged last month with one of the most fully-baked takes on the new wave yet. Immediately gripping from its first few moments, “antisocial” comes across like the culmination of a longtime underground veteran who’s finally firing on cylinders… rather than the debut single of a mysterious 22-year-old newcomer from Kentucky. Other than that not much is known bout Tye, but his well-developed sound and 100K views on his first-ever song suggest there is a lot more to discover below the surface.
It’s rare that an artist’s first song is so striking. With little-to-no context and a notable lack of hype or crazy backstory, Tyler Aphex feels like a fully formed entity ready to compete at the same level as the underground favorites. To start, the production on “antisocial” feels fresh, forward-thinking, and devoid of the usual idiosyncratic busy-ness that relegates much of the new wave to ‘acquired taste’ territory: marked by swirling crescendoing synths, crisp punchy drums, and possibly a sample from a certain ‘intelligent dance music’ cult-favorite who happens to share the same name. And rather than be swallowed up by the big production, Tye’s raspy lightly melodic delivery and short choppy bars float across the top with a confident nonchalance that feels perfectly at home in 2023.
Released with an equally striking visual (directed by Moldy Room & Eliep), in just 2-minutes Tyler manages to build a world that perfectly complements his futuristic sound with gloomy urban landscapes, eyecatching framing, and dreamlike slow frame rate shots. Like the coverart featuring Virgil, the video is full of intentional choices that only create more questions: from the opening hero-shot of our black-Arcteryx-donned protagonist, to an unexpected pair of UGGs, to a prominent Sunday Service t-shirt hinting at one of his likely artistic influences.
Like many young newcomers, Tyler Aphex feels like an artist who came up in a world where names like Kanye, Travis and Opium reign supreme. Unlike many, “antisocial” feels like the debut single of a young artist ready to take the ball and run with it.
Watch Tyler Aphex’s “antisocial” below