When The Otherme‘s (aka solo artist Aidan Licker) new album came floating into the buffaBLOG inbox, it brought us back to a simpler time… Namely, the mid to late aughts where emo acts were blossoming from basement show staples to full-blown rock stars. Blacksheep is a startling tonal shift for The Otherme, whose previous efforts have been more hip-hop flavored (think Asher Roth or Atmosphere). This time around, Licker has eschewed the beats and the raps for personal, heart-on-your-sleeve anthems about long-lost relationships, summers past, and existential novelists.

Licker is armed with nothing more than a lone electric guitar and his voice, bringing to mind Drive Thru acts like Dave Melillo or even The Starting Line. Blacksheep‘s most poignant moment comes in the form of the title-track, a song about yearning for approval, despite an unshakable “black sheep” status. On one of the catchiest moments of the album, Licker proclaims, “I stopped living for the people in my life and started living for me.”

Licker’s interlude-ish and ambient take on Outkast’s 2003 hit “Hey Ya” should be enough reason to check this out. Blacksheep is out now on ArcAtlas records, and is offered via all digital streaming platforms and digital download stores. We recommend heading to Bandcamp by clicking on the widget below.