Mikky Ekko, “Pull Me Down”

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Schmaltzy white boy soul gets a second wind.

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Blake Gillespie | October 31, 2012

Mikky Ekko

Photo by Sandy Kim

So it seems that RCA, upon signing A$AP Rocky, added a stipulation that granted the label access to Clams Casino for production and validation purposes of future signed artists. Clams's signature sound is now the property of RCA and may be mass produced for any Gavin DeGraw or Dido comeback records, should said artists get a wild hair to update their aesthetic in order to corner that 18 to 30 indie rap market.

In the mean time, RCA has a new DeGraw on the roster named Mikky Ekko who's already “with it” – just scroll through his Tumblr. He's been jamming Tri-Angle artists like Holy Other, he bought a vintage Joy Division t-shirt that's the same material as his down comforter, and he's all about Sigur Ros' new direction. In all fairness, we hope this Tumblr is indeed run by Mikky, because he shared Ombre's “Vistate” and we love that album too.

We'll admit to being trigger happy with the criticism when a major label like RCA, home of the Kings of Leon land of the Pitbull, pushes a white boy with pipes our way on the backbone of Clams Casino beats. We read “Mikky Ekko son of a Louisiana tarplant manager until his father became a preacher and moved the family to Mississippi”, slap our foreheads and shout good fuggin' grief. It's an action that perks the headphoned-ears of our interns only briefly. No matter how it's spun, it feels spun and transparent, mostly since we've never heard of Mikky Ekko until he signed with RCA. He wasn't on our radar, he's never graced our inboxes without the assistance of a team, and he's not run the gamut of the blogosphere. He appeared out of thin air on the wax wings of a song for MTV's Teen Wolf and landed in the arms of Clams, ready for grooming.

On “Pull Me Down”, Ekko's debut collaboration with Clams, he croons for the sinking feeling of getting into bed with trouble and getting suffocated under the sheets. What's to be understood from “Pull Me Down”? It starts out with potential when Ekko sings “I heard you were trouble, and you heard I was trouble”, we get a sense of who he's singing to as he gives trouble the astrologicial sign of virgo, but it deteriorates into “be my girl”, “we can be king and queen” and “say it loud”. How can trouble rise to a throne? That's not how trouble works at all. Who honestly tells their friends and family they've chosen trouble? Trouble is who you call at 2 a.m. drunk and horny. Trouble is who you push out the bathroom window as your actual girl knocks on the front door. Why dilute Clams Casino's murkey, druggy production for a track about trouble? Why not keep it grimey and delve into some of those taboo exploits with trouble? We are just really confused by this song and not retracting our statement that “RCA has a new Gavin DeGraw” until Mr. Ekko writes a song this year that can put him in the top tier company of Jeremih, Miguel, and The Weeknd, since that's what he's going for here.

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