South Africa-born, Los Angeles-based artist Nick Leng built his reputation gently psychedelic music — echo-laden, polyphonic, laid-back songs that sound more like a microdose than a full-blown freak-out. But his latest single, "Plastic Moon," a collaboration with the hip-hop spoken word artist Chester Watson that's premiering above, is the sound of a musician who took something a little stronger than expected then sat inside to ride out the trip. Leng's solitary voice drifts in and out, singing "don't be shy" as more of a sly threat than an invitation. Watson's voice anchors the song, but he's still outside of his body, burnt out: "Hearing things so other-wordly, it's cosmic / Late nighs and always up early, it's toxic."
“I was in the midst of some big changes and transitions in my personal life when the I first started working on 'Plastic Moon,'" Leng wrote in an email to The FADER. "There was a certain color and texture I wanted to explore musically, and an image in my head which in turn inspired the lyric. From the inception of the track I had the vision for Chester to feature on it. I had been a fan of him and his lyrics and artist project for a while. I feel honored to have him on this one.”
“It was wild because I had written the majority of the song before I met Nick and then we met up in L.A. and I finished writing at his spot," Watson added. "His spot is very eclectic so that was an experience in itself. The vibe there was so airy and light with the sun pouring in and the song’s vibe is bouncy and a little melancholy so it created this very unique energy in the air.”
Listen to "Plastic Moon" at the top of the page. The song is taken from Lemons, Leng's debut album, due out via SOTA Recordings on April 24.