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Album Review: One Day – Mainline

2 min read

With the release of their highly anticipated debut album Mainline, hip-hop collective One Day have embodied the sense of community uniquely characteristic of the Australian hip-hop scene. Spit Syndacite, Horrowshow, Jackie Onassis and Joyride have all achieved considerable success as individual acts, and have now teamed up under the single moniker One Day to create a debut album chockfull of chemistry and cohesion.

One Day - MainlineThis tight-knit collective didn’t discover their sense of unity overnight, however. Having grown up together in the Inner West of Sydney, Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice, Solo and Adit, Raph and Kai, and Joyride have been friends since attending high school together, and more recently have staged monthly performances together at the Vic Hotel in Enmore. Their shared history is evident in the fact that Mainline was written and recorded together, as opposed to many hip-hop collaborations, creating an aural synergy clear throughout the whole album.

The strengths of each artist, and their individual styles come across and work well with each other on every track. As expected from such a large group, many different sonic influences are evident, from the reggae and funk sounds of S.D.R.O. and to the soulful interludes, and the more abrasive delivery of Many Hands and Milka. There are also plenty of downtempo, electronic-influenced Sunday afternoon jams throughout the second half of the album. The sheer variety of genres and styles could have easily made for a crowded sound, but because of their true collaborative effort Mainline is a fluid, and successful body of work.

The album effectively juxtaposes personal explorations (Cloudstreet, History) against more universal social concerns, tackling issues of Australian identity and the national political climate head on in opening track Many Hands. Lead single Love me Less has already garnered critical success, and has also enjoyed a steady presence on the airwaves. Its popular appeal is maintained with the album’s impossibly catchy hooks, and big group cuts. For me, however, pleasant surprise Leave Your Windows Open is the stand out. Combining a downtempo RnB beat with surprisingly quality, and emotive singing, Leave Your Windows Open evokes a sense of positive rebirth and pushing forward, immersed in a soulful sensuality.

Mainline is a progressive, expressive, and stylistic output worthy of the existing pedigree awarded to the separate hip-hop outfits that make up One Day.