Last year I noted a progression in the world of Gavin Mays, aka Cities Aviv, after the release of Black Pleasure on the MISHKA Bandcamp. He was still making lo-fi chamber rap, but he can no longer be considered a lurker within his creations. On Black Pleasure, Mays was willing to stop letting the textures and stylistic nuances speak for him, and give his song-writing a fair shot at the spotlight. The former front man of hardcore bands was resuming the job title.
In lead of COME TO LIFE, his debut on Young One Records, Mays debuted “URL IRL” (translating to you in real life, I in real life). It's the bright side – a step into the daylight – of motifs that linger from Black Pleasure. On the 2012 mixtape, Mays mused digital drags like 'is you real or a simulation' a call out to artists who emulate too closely. “URL IRL” builds upon the concerns by channeling it through his version of Outkast's “Get Up, Get Out”. Last year, Mays put the question out there and left it unanswered for us to consider. COME TO LIFE is sounding like taking our hand and guiding us to the reachable realness after we dragged our feet about doing it ourselves for a year.
Cities Aviv's COME TO LIFE is out January 28 on Youg One Records.