Aesop Rock And Kimya Dawson Showcase Their Strengths | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Aesop Rock And Kimya Dawson Showcase Their Strengths

Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock both grew up in the New York suburbs and reside in the Pacific Northwest, but they only met after Aesop sent Dawson a fan letter; they eventually evolved into a duo they call The Uncluded. Aesop Rock is a brainy alt-rapper, Kimya Dawson is a playful folk-punk and both are headlong word-slingers. The difference is that Dawson overflows where Aesop overthinks.

I've loved Kimya Dawson's tiny voice and confessional candor since she surfaced with The Moldy Peaches in 2001. But her strophic stanzas and childlike tunes get repetitive enough that you could grump about her self-parody if you wanted. For me, that's more Aesop Rock's problem; he's so committed to his own IQ that he refuses to be humorous, clear or nice. As The Uncluded, however, the two cancel each other's weaknesses — Dawson gains heft, Aesop lightens up and both let their creativity reign.

Dawson, 40, has always written a lot about childhood, including her own. Aesop, 36, often recalls how he came up, as well. In "Jambi Cafe," a young Kimya face-plants at a skating rink and Aesop comforts her with candy.

For all their gifts with words, their Hokey Fright album wouldn't mean much if it wasn't enticing as music: Aesop Rock's beats anchoring Kimya Dawson's catchy ditties, each comping vocally under the other's parts. Even better, however, is when The Uncluded join together in song. It's almost like they're two halves of a whole — which they are, a rare and welcome thing.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Former Basketball Player Scores As A Filmmaker

While Deon Taylor was playing professional basketball in Germany, he had an epiphany: he wanted to make movies. The self-taught director's latest film, Supremacy, was released this Friday.
NPR

Surströmming Revisited: Eating Sweden's Famously Stinky Fish

Sweden has the distinction of producing surströmming, one of the foulest-smelling foods in the world. More than a decade ago, NPR's Ari Shapiro tried eating it and failed. It's time for a rematch.
NPR

What Romney's Retreat Means For GOP Hopefuls

NPR's Scott Simon speaks with senior Washington editor Ron Elving about the narrowing Republican presidential field for 2016 and what we've seen so far in the first month of the new Congress.
NPR

The Infinite Whiteness Of Public Radio Voices

The hashtag #publicradiovoices, about the "whiteness" of public radio, trended on Twitter this week. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Gene Demby of NPR's Code Switch team about the conversation.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.