In Review

Araya's 'Atlas' Acts As the Map on an Otherworldly Musical Journey

Audrey Brandes

Araya transports us to another world in his debut album, “Atlas.” The production transcends the human stratosphere, and Araya’s smooth vocals carry us to a realm that feels almost heavenly. “Atlas” feels like a journey in itself-- one of love, loss, identity, and self-growth as the Long Island native sings, “There’s a place up above us, there’s a place in between us, that separates you from me,” in his ethereal closing track, “Eden.”

Araya showcases his wide-range of stylistic ability through each song, with “Often,” harkening to Grimes-esque electronic production and vocal manipulation, while groovy single “Color Palette” takes a cue from R&B influences. “Muay Thai” goes so far as to sample lyrics and elements of Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” and transforms it into something cathartic and introspective. Even the song “Casino” feels like something Travis Scott would put out, containing notes of mumble-rap elements all the while presenting itself as a beautiful ballad.

“Atlas” is an odyssey in its own right-- guiding the listener through the highs and lows of the human experience, of long nights spent solo or by someone’s side, of connection and separation, of being lost and being found. Araya has done something really special with this experiential project-- something all artists should aim to accomplish.

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