The heavy snow of emotion that Corbin Smidzik depicts in his music varies, but is always heavy. No matter if he goes by Lil Spook, Spooky Black, or his current moniker Corbin, it’s apparent that the shivers of his mind are demanding and emotive, progressing to harsher territory on this latest and debut album release Mourn.
Corbin’s reputability from Soundcloud must have strayed however. The landscape isn’t as bleak as his image – what with bubblegum trap, pop-house and still some speckles of light-hearted indie – so, given the context of Spooky Black with his excellent Leaving EP it calls into question whether how genuine Corbin actually is. The answer is: entirely.
The crooning of then Spooky Black on “Echoes In My Mind” had left his fan-based at a crossroads. The low fidelity R&B and electronic beats left an enigmatic presence, so upon return as Corbin with “ICE BOY” was a head tilting, then reassuring move. The song is just as divisive as it is intriguing which is just the boldness a 19-year-old would do, effectively proving his estranged sense of humanity tangled in a psychologically disturbed sense of emotions.
“Revenge Song” takes to this in full force, lyrically beating on the steps of murder and violence – a metaphorical approach to a traumatic experience.
The grumbles and strains of his vocals break the comforts of any chill beat, so Mourn in practicality sought out taking production a step further with recruitment of Shlohmo and D33J for variability but without distractions. Shlohmo’s sonic semblance from Dark Red speaks loudest on tracks like “Giving Up” and “Hunker Down”, complimenting Corbin’s morose mood. “Nothing but bones. I’m dying.”
As far out as Corbin leans on dark and moody ideas, however, he pleads for a brighter existence, grounding Mourn as a release. Corbin’s debut is a demanding listen, one for particular settings and for particular people, but the applications of deep emotion are far reaching with Mourn. The gruff of Smidzik’s voice is the most powerfully utilized instrument on this album and it has a story to tell.