A mere two weeks after debuting the cover art for it, Steve Lacy has finally dropped his anticipated LP, Apollo XXI, which follows his 2017 solo EP Steve Lacy's Demo, (in which the single "Dark Red" was featured on). Apollo XXI was recorded in Lacy's sister's bedroom after she went away to college, and follows the musician's journey through young adulthood. "It’s basically my journey, my sexuality. But in a very fun and witty way, it’s not really that serious, it’s not super sad. I think it’s my journey, it’s an expression of how I feel right now," he said, of the album, in an interview with i-D earlier this year.
The singer-songwriter-producer has had an illustrious career - working as part of the group The Internet, as well as with other heavyhitters such as Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and Solange - at just 20 years old. The release of the album sees Lacy, in all his funk and R&B glory. His astral cool vocals are perfectly complimented against a troop of tugging instrumentals; as he pulls you into his orbit, and presents you with themes close to his heart.
One of the main aforementioned themes throughout the album is his bisexuality, which he had previously opened up about in an interview. His track “Like Me,” opens with a note of insecurity and inquiry. “How many out there just like me?” Lacy sings, alluding to his sexuality. Just as Tyler, The Creator did, Lacy is bringing sexuality and the normalization of LGBTQ+ issues into his platform.
Lacy shows off his impressive falsetto on “Guide,” as well as the evolution of his musical range since "Dark Red" on the dreamy track "Lay Me Down". The album as a whole has a modest twinge of chaos, with the overwhelming instrumentals and differing ranges of pitch through which Lacy weaves. However, the smooth jazz and funk vibes which we have come to know and love from the artist, mellow the mood to create a project which is sure to satisfy Steve Lacy and The Internet fans alike.
Give the album a full listen below.