Your EDM debuted Agency on our New Artist Spotlight last year with his stark and politically charged single, “Backwards.” At the time, Agency was quite solidly in the hip hop wheelhouse, but “Backwards,” or more specifically the remix of it which was done aside from its host album Resist, marked a change. The track incorporated more EDM-tinged styles, and it seems that with his sophomore album Philisophies, Agency isn’t looking back.
Philosophies is still very much in the realm of hip hop and pop, especially composition-wise. Agency’s smooth, jazzy vocals are still composed and arranged with the music in pop style, but said music and beats over which the vocals are arranged are much more dance-driven. House is a heavy presence here. Album opener “Hard To Believe,” for example, is a jazzy house beat with elements of funk house while “Warn Me Next Time” toggles back and forth between chill house and an interesting and very ornamented funky trap beat. “Millions” is sort of 80s throwback electronica, almost pop techno and “Spooky” is straight-up disco house, which makes sense. It’s a cover of the original Atlanta Rhythm Section song.
Not all the tracks follow a straight-up house or pop formula, and that’s what makes Agency so interesting. A definite highlight on Philosophies is “Joyride (Still a Thrill),” which incorporates jungle beats and breaks and reggaeton, of all things, with a more freeform rapped lyrical format. The bassline is yet another style: electronic breaks. It’s a great mélange of EDM styles and shows Agency’s sheer creativity, not to mention his potential moving forward in his still burgeoning career.
In two albums, Agency has been able to both establish and break free of his characteristic style. Listeners who loved his soulful and complex first album will find Philosophies to be a great progression for the artist and in line with his core style, but he will also definitely attract new fans with his diverse, EDM-driven beats and innovative production. There’s really something for everyone to like about this album, and about Agency.