It’s a well understood notion that creativity is often bred by limitations. When you’re feeling stuck, create some arbitrary guidelines for yourself and see what comes out. Try recording an album entirely with children’s instruments or write an album about Tommy Boy or just be a Halloween band. Or, if you’re Aly Lakhani, aka Lackhoney, restrict yourself to writing songs that are only 30 seconds long.
Released back in February of 2020, Sweets is a brilliantly executed “concept” album that covers a lot of ground across twelve distinct tracks in exactly six minutes. Inspired by Tierra Whack’s “Whack World“, the above video version of the record explains that the undertaking started as an intention to write individual songs within the discrete time limit but the final record is meant to be heard as one cohesive experience.
Conceptually, the idea is novel but rife with potential failure. Thirty seconds is an awfully short time and jumping between twelve tracks could be a mind-numbing headspin. Fortunately, Lackhoney found the perfect balance between easily distinguishable vibes between the segments and an overall pace that is entirely captivating. Tracks with triple speed verses transition into slow tempo ballads that transition into restrained outbursts and it never once feels abrupt.
Lyrically, the undertaking jumps between personal insights on being an Indian-American, boastful declarations and entertaining anecdotes. Much like the underlying music, it never stagnates across tracks but never deviates so far that you’re lost as a listener.
For six minutes, it’s an unbelievably impressive creation, especially when you take into account that this release didn’t slow down his pace with other full-length singles and collaborations. Lackhoney is clearly one to watch. Follow along on Spotify, as who knows what will inspire the next record.