BROCKHAMPTON Releases Steady Stream of New Music

Photo+Courtesy+of+Flickr.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr.

Liam Queneau, Reporter

The prolific boy-band BROCKHAMPTON (stylized in all caps) has released no less than five albums in the last three years, three of them in 2017, but have struggled in finding their sound after Ameer Vann was ousted from the group. Vann was kicked out after multiple women came out with abuse allegations against him and he was accused of lying to the other members of the group. 

Since then, the group has released two albums, Iridescence and Ginger. Iridescence came off as a comeback album, showing that they still had their artistic capabilities without Ameer Vann, but it was met with negative reviews from fans and critics, and it felt as if they were trying to run away from the drama with Vann. 

This is much the opposite with Ginger, an album defined by their vulnerability and their problems stemming from the outing of one of their original band members. It was with Ginger that BROCKHAMPTON broke out into the mainstream music scene when the song Sugar became popular on the social media platform TikTok, garnering the song over 200 million listens on Spotify. Ever since a remix was dropped in March with Dua Lipa, the group has been unusually silent on social media. 

The leader of the group, Kevin Abstract. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Then, at three in the morning on May 9, BROCKHAMPTON released two new songs on YouTube: “N.S.T” and “things can’t stay the same,” the latter quickly becoming featured on YouTube’s Trending page. It was at this time that people started discovering that BROCKHAMPTON had started weekly secret live-streams from “Club Kauffman,” a room in the group’s house with speakers and a DJ booth. 

These streams are done on the streaming service Twitch, but the streams are only accessible to a few people, as the method of gaining access is incredibly difficult. To be allowed into the stream, you have to be allowed to follow a private Instagram user named technicaldifficultiesradio, which will then post passwords that can be put into a website under the domain name technicaldifficulties.club, which then bring you to a secret Twitch page, on which you can watch the group preview new music. 

Since the initial relea

se of the two songs, BROCKHAMPTON has continually dropped two songs every Saturday morning, even dropping three songs this last week. However, from everything that has been revealed about the group’s intent with their releases, it seems that BROCKHAMPTON has not gotten clearance from their record label, RCA, to put out music, making it obvious why none of the music has been released on any streaming services. However, the songs of the week can be downloaded from their website, allowing for the music to only exist in your music library, rather than on streaming services.

Photo Courtesy of Genius.

In addition to the rebellious and mysterious route of releasing music that BROCKHAMPTON appears to be taking, the group deletes the music from both YouTube and their website every week, only to replace them with new music. By making their streams so difficult to access and making the music disappear week after week, BROCKHAMPTON is trying as hard as they can to make their work as exclusive as possible, while still making it relatively accessible for a fan looking to listen.

Despite the exclusivity of the music and live-streams, BROCKHAMPTON may be taking this path for a reason. After Sugar became popular on TikTok, the group quickly amassed fans that only knew the band for one song and none else. Ginger, the album from which Sugar is from, has a much different feel than that of any other music that BROCKHAMPTON has released, with a distinctly more mainstream and pop feel. By morphing their sound into something that sounds more like something the group used to put out, their return to their roots will entice original fans of the group, while the exclusivity will make it so that only the truest of their fans will get to hear their new music. 

Although the sound of their new music is similar to what they used to release, the self-proclaimed boyband is making it clear that things are changing. Every single song and album released by the group has been stylized in all caps, including their name, but of the first two songs released, one was titled “things cant stay the same.” The name is all lowercase, includes a missing apostrophe, all while stating that things cannot stay the same. 

BROCKHAMPTON is very clearly stating that things are going to change, their sound is set to change, and their feel as a group is bound to change. Their weekly releases see no end in sight, other than an album, which none of the released songs are supposed to be on. It feels as if BROCKHAMPTON has finally found their stride after years of uncertainty and hardships.