Back in October of last year, Lando Chill released an album produced by The Lasso, Black Ego. Besides being a brilliant piece of art, this album symbolized the end of an era for the two, as they both moved out of Tuscon. Chill moved on to Los Angeles, and Lasso moved back to Michigan. Then this spring, Lasso released his solo debut for Mello Music Group, The Sound of Lasso, which was an excellent instrumental album, and marked a new era for the artist. Now he's teamed up with a different labelmate who also resides in Michigan, Chris Orrick, to release the album I Read That I Was Dead.

A few years back, when Orrick was still using the name Red Pill, he dropped an album called Instinctive Drowning, which marked a major step forward in his career. He did this by dropping all pretenses and getting deeply personal with his rhymes. This has carried through the last couple of albums since then, including this spring's Out to Sea. Now, as he pairs up with Lasso, Orrick turns his vision a bit more outward for I Read That I Was Dead. The title of the album comes from Orrick coming across an obituary from a cryptozoologist in Detroit that shared the same name as him. This got the wheels spinning in Orrick's head about mortality and society, and soon he decided to start writing from the perspective of a man who chooses to live in exile. What this means in practice is that it gives him just a little bit of distance to be openly critical of American society in particular, especially as it currently stands. Orrick doesn't get bogged down with names and specifics to tie things down to this particular moment, but he does get into messy and shameful policies, actions, and attitudes that are currently in place. He balances this with a Walden-like perspective as a narrator, who questions whether or not he did the right thing by living in exile. This is all paired with the production of Lasso, who built all of the music from the ground up, playing with bass, synths, and drum kits to build this post-industrial soundscape. It's the sound of run down factories and abandoned houses, of urban decay and neglect. It's harsh, but there is also an underlying hint of soul and hope. The whole thing comes together to create this truly fascinating album, with a unique sound and viewpoint.

I Read That I Was Dead is a really unique album that brings together two really talented artists who created something that sounds different that anything else either has done in their careers. It's incredibly inspired and focused, challenging listeners to really think about their relationship to the society in which they live.