Burial is an artist capturing withering urban decay. It’s wounded, electronic post-industrial, and even post-modern, eschewing the system of dopamine hitting drops and fist-pounding exhilaration. Although a forebear of dubstep, the secretive South Londoner would never perform on a stage.
Abel Tesfaye’s meteoric rise to fame at the beginning of the last decade was revolutionary for R&B, ushering in a wave of darker, moodier sounds. This would come to define mainstream pop music as festival EDM and dubstep began to collapse on itself. While not every album by the Weeknd has lived up to his three legendary mixtapes that put his music on the map, no one can deny his abundance of talent and influence his work has on modern music.
If you’ve seen YouTube videos of Oliver Tree belting out his heavily produced, guttertronic, cyber-tinged, angsty, plaintive melodies while being decked inimically in sunglasses, oversized 90’s JNCO-style baggy jeans, and an Amish-anachronism perpetual-child-rage bowl cut, you may think he is a some kind of joke.