Review: Terrell Hines’ Debut EP ‘St. Mark Rd.’ Is an Ingeniously Inventive Delight

Terrell Hines © Luis Alberto Rodriguez
Terrell Hines © Luis Alberto Rodriguez
Terrell Hines’ wonderfully varied debut EP ‘St. Mark Rd.’ signifies him as a defining and essential voice of his generation.
Stream: ‘St. Mark Rd.’ – Terrell Hines

Sometimes an artist’s vision is so powerful and distinct that their music can seemingly effortlessly transport you into another headspace. Terrell Hines’ debut EP St. Mark Rd. (released October 11, 2019 via Capitol Records) does just that in a boisterously brilliant fashion. The amount of inventive originality embodied within the three-track EP allows the project to transcend the boundaries of genre, with the result being a stunningly singular body of work that undoubtedly asserts Hines as one of the most exciting rising artists around right now.

St. Mark Rd. - Terrell Hines
St. Mark Rd. – Terrell Hines

A Berklee College of Music graduate born in Georgia and based in Los Angeles, Hines’ unparalleled artistry and devotion has already seen him draw acclaim from fans of a variety of distinct genres. While his music draws from an array of styles like hip-hop, alt-pop and soul, his sound is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. For a debut project, St. Mark Rd. extremely ambitious, but thankfully Hines’ astonishing talent more than sees him through.

The EP’s opener “Get Up” provides the first showcase of Hines’ futuristic vision, with the artist delivering his absorbing lyricism with dynamic intensity. While the production is questionably adventurous, it’s also delightfully infectious. Even after a multitude of listens, it’s still almost impossible to fully absorb all the nuance embedded within the track. The contagiously catchy nature of ‘Get Up’ means that it’ll more than likely serve as the first introduction to Terrell Hines for many, and its enthralling allure makes delving deeply into his other tracks irresistible.

I been waiting my whole life
Drifting slowly through the night
Feet don’t fail me now
Move without a sound
The shadow of a doubt
We see it from the underground

One such track that looks set to enrapture listeners is the EP’s second track “Feel Good,” a track with an optimistic message that beautifully reminds you not to lose sight of what brings you joy in the ever-demanding society that’s becoming increasingly dreary. Throughout Hines’ impeccable layered vocals float over the track’s almost understated production, which slightly shifts to the focus onto the track’s astounding lyricism.

Closing the EP is “Living for Today,” which somewhat surprisingly for an EP that’s so forward-focused, brings the present to the forefront. On the track, Hines intertwines melancholic piano chords with his arresting vocal performance to craft a gripping atmospheric sonic experience, with him delicately delivering assuring accessible lyricism that’s still drawn from Hines’ own observant perceptions.

Terrell Hines © Luis Alberto Rodriguez
Terrell Hines © Luis Alberto Rodriguez

Speaking of the EP, Terrell Hines shared, “St. Mark Rd. is a post-modern art statement exploring the darkness of plutocratic societies within a post-apocalyptic environment, and what survival based on scientific fact could look like. The EP is filled with genre bending compositions that tell stories in beautiful worlds created by the world we currently live in. St. Mark Rd. is the first road I remember living on. There were moments living there where I felt like I walked the world alone. I found something beautiful in that solitary world and constructed it into an EP.”

With just three tracks, Terrell Hines has managed to develop a gripping lyrical narrative that’s more multi-layered and grossing than what most artists manage to craft within their debut albums. While Hines’ talent is overwhelmingly evident, it’s arguably his ingenuity that makes him an unmissable artist. St. Mark Rd. is just the beginning for Hines, and with such a strong start it’s not hard to imagine the stratospheric heights that his music will take him too.

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:: stream/purchase St. Mark Rd here ::

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St. Mark Rd. - Terrell Hines

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