When you hear the phrase “August 08,” you might think of where you were in the eighth month of the year 2008. I was barely a sophomore in high school and wondering if we’d have a black president. Whatever significance it has for 88rising and Red Bull Records signee AUGUST 08 is unclear, but if it’s anything like his first single, ‘Funeral,’ it must be pretty huge.

‘Funeral’ merges the solemn rhythms of The xx with the naked emotions of Sampha. At the heart of it is AUGUST 08, pleading to an estranged friend or other to express their feelings before it’s too late. (“I know I messed up/ Aimless intention, so quick to end us/ My eyes are bloodshot/ My heart is shell-shocked/ What is the purpose of giving me no love?”) An impassioned spoken word piece as a bridge acts as an intriguing experimental detour and furthers the message. As a statement, it’s anything but subtle. But ‘Funeral’ is accomplished through making its point loud, clear, and beautifully.

Listen to 'Funeral' below.

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