Debut album ‘Mika’s Laundry’ reminds us to take things slow

Sweet-sounding piano and upbeat synth come together on Matt Champion’s debut solo album “Mika’s Laundry.” Released on March 22, Champion brings a slow pace to what we’ve heard from him in the past.

The overall feel of the album complements the style of his earlier solo releases very well, and with his last solo musical release being “Fangs” in 2017, fans welcomed this album with open arms. 

That doesn’t mean Champion wasn’t still working on music despite not releasing solo projects since 2017. He gained a lot of his notoriety from his work with hip-hop collective and boy band BROCKHAMPTON with verses on their popular songs like “SUGAR” and “SWEET.” 

This album is slower and a lot mellower than what we’ve heard from Champion as a part of BROCKHAMPTON but the collaborative aspect of the boy band is still present on “Mika’s Laundry.” 

“Slow Motion” is a pleasant track where Champion duets with K-pop star JENNIE of BLACKPINK. The song is a sweet love song about complete adoration and wishing to slow time with your lover. 

Champion also collaborates on “Aphid” with Dijon, someone who Champion has worked with in the past on some BROCKHAMPTON tracks. “Aphid” is an upbeat title that also seems to detail a romantic relationship. The song features an extended metaphor about relationship struggles and communication. The verses describe being presented with a work of writing and asked to edit it, only for the red ink to make your partner anxious, but still acknowledging the fact that what was written needed to be said. 

The track “Steel” featuring Dora Jar is another cheery song that has themes of slowing down. The song talks about wanting to take things slowly in a relationship where it feels a little like the two singers are having a conversation. Champion’s verses pose a bunch of questions and Dora Jar’s chorus responds with “I don’t know what to say to you,” but assures that they don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

On my first listen though, “Aren’t You Excited” and “Slug” immediately caught my attention, being the tracks with the most energy. 

“Aren’t You Excited” is a hopeful song with synthy beats about missing an old partner and wanting to go back to that relationship, but knowing you’ve passed the point where you could have worked things out. 

“Slug” follows “Aren’t You Excited” with some fun vocal distortion and a groovy beat. This track is another love song where Champion confesses his feelings with lyrics like “It’s dangerous to look in your eyes / I can’t explain it (explain what?) / How I got so mangled in your light.” 

Despite the great songs on this album, I found myself a little disappointed with how most of the songs are mostly made up of the chorus. This makes the songs feel a lot shorter than they are because of a lack of verses. 

The album also features a mellow tone in tunes like “Green,” “Everybody Likes You” and “Project,” which didn’t stick out to me much. There are also songs  like “Gbiv” and “Code Red” that are a little more reminiscent of the hip-hop genre fans are used to hearing from his time in BROCKHAMPTON. This mix of pace and style is one of the reasons I think this album complements his discography very well. 

His older solo tracks, from 2017 and earlier, are emulated in “Mika’s Laundry’s” slow, mellow songs, where the more upbeat and R&B tracks bring in his influences from BROCKHAMPTON, while keeping the sound his own. 

I definitely recommend this album if you’re a fan of alternative indie. The album lost me in a few places because of the slow pace, but that’s not a bad thing, it’s just a reminder to take things slow.


3/5 stars


Featured photo courtesy of @brckhmptn, Instagram