First off, a BIG Happy New Year to those following along (and those who don’t as well) . It’s been a very interesting year for all of us, but we’ve grown, we’ve adapted, and we’ve kept music by our side.

I fought with the idea of doing a “Deviate Song Of The Year,” but that’s an impossible feat. I’ve had 20 “song of the year(s)” and I’m sure you have too. Seasons change and so do our music tastes. That being said, I do think RAC’s Boy project is my favorite album of 2020. I’d like to share two songs from it.

Truthfully, I’m not 100% sure how to pronounce his artist name (“R A C” or “Rack”), but I’ve been saying “RAC” for my listening tenure so I’m going to stick with it. It would require too much energy and discipline to change now.

RAC is home to 36 year old André Allen Anjos, a Portuguese-American Grammy Award winner, multi-instrumentalist and producer. You may know him from him “Cheap Sunglasses” tune with Matthew Koma; however, there is much more to him and his catalog.

I did a lot of research on how RAC came to be and found out “RAC” wasn’t always just Anjos. In fact, in was a collective…. and in double fact, RAC actually stands for “Remix Artist Collective”. Members of the group included Andrew Maury, Karl Kling, Aaron Jasinski, and Chris Angelovski. Anjos is, as you can probably imagine, currently solo-piloting the RAC name. Now, if you knew this all along then I’m the idiot and we can carry on.

His most recent work is an 18-track monster of an album called Boy. It features mainly collabs with other artists such as Danny Dwyer, Louis The Child, and St Lucia, and has been highly regarded by critics and reviewers alike. It’s also one of my favorite albums in the last decade.

Phil Good

Boy‘s theme is centered around RAC’s (and most of ours) childhood and how it never hurts to reminisce on simpler times. “Sweater”, “Carefree”, and “Passion” are probably the best examples.

“MIA” is currently in the lead for most plays on Boy, but I could never place my finger on why I enjoy it so much. However, I think it may be the angsty 2005 aura of the track. Between the twangy electric guitar chords and the mellow pace, it’s got “get out of my room mom, I’m smoking pot” written all over it. Anjos calls on LA-based alt-pop artist Danny Dwyer to help drive the message home. What that message exactly? His girl has gone MIA and he’s not quite sure why. Happens to the best of us.

And then there is “Stuck On You” featuring alt-pop up-and-comer Phil Good and his lighthearted vocals. A song about the perils of hanging on to a lost relationship. The protagonist even “slept with new people, [and] muted your ‘gram” but he still can’t seem to shake the thoughts. I love this song because of both the simple synthpop beat and the honest, relatable Phil Good lyrics. It will most definitely leave the “I’m just stuck on stuck on you” stuck in your head for days.

RAC is one of those once-in-a-lifetime artists because of his broad production style. He doesn’t really have a signature sound, and I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. For example, if you didn’t know it was a RAC song, you probably wouldn’t guess it was him…. in other words, he doesn’t leave his sound insignia on his work like other artists. He simply plays around in a laundry list of genres, which I think is incredibly cool and shows his true talent and diverse nature.

He really is such a pillar in the music world who thousands of artists are inspired by. One can only hope he’s working on his new album, but until then we have Boy and I’m pretty happy about that.