With 10 tracks filling 23 minutes and 23 seconds, introspective Wellington rap artist Cyeril (real name Matt Willoughby) almost surprisingly relaxes the listener through his smooth flows and the simply decorated lo-fi tracks on his debut album release, ‘Dream State’.
Lyrically, Cyeril comes in hard with his measured flows, playing with themes of introspection about who he is as an artist, his mental health, and where he wants to go with his career. Through his lyrics, listeners can easily get to know how Cyeril sees himself. He casually takes us between verse and chorus, the melodic (mostly) unhurried delivery of his raps easily transitioning into his soulful, naturally reserved singing voice in the chorus. As a formula, this is most noticeable in the tracks titled Know My Name and Like I Should.
‘Dream State’ is well-named and shines in the presentation of its music. Cyeril’s raps are placed over lo-fi beats, mostly snare, bass and occasional mood-lightening keys, the kind of music one would play in the background when studying or just focusing elsewhere. He uses this relaxing nature of the beats to create a chilled-out atmosphere for his songs, despite the lyrical messaging. It allows the listener to fall into the album, Cyeril complimenting the beats with the delivery of his lyrics.
There are evident negative and positive aspects to the album, but more importantly, it’s easy to find examples where Cyeril hits his stride as an artist. Track number four, Workin’ On, is one of these, Cyeril delivering his best lyrically and musically. leaving the viewer excited for what is next to come from the artist.