Doc Rhombus released Long Division on 1/21/2021. A fitting release date but that’s where the math stops. The album is a look at our divided community leading up to the murder of George Floyd and The Upheaval surrounding it.
Doc Rhombus is an independent solo artist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. He admits that he hears music constantly. There’s an evocative, soundtrack quality to his music. It’s lo-fi with so many interesting instruments. Even without the lyrics, the music is moving. The album starts with a light touch in Escape and leads to crescendo of The Upheaval. There’s a whistle here, a bell there, sudden harmony of vocals that appear on the sonic landscape. And every bell and whistle is intentional. Doc Rhombus does everything on the album. As he said – “everything is a deliberate decision made by me.”
And then there’s the lyrics. If you were in the Twin Cities the week after the murder of George Floyd, you will know exactly where, when and why The Upheaval was written. (Or at least the lyrics – the music was written a year before.) He captures the fear, disbelief that we went through at the time, mingled with the realization that this was history in the making.
The Upheaval is the cornerstone of the album but songs like Nothing to Defend and Degenerate provide some cultural perspective. Those songs shine a light on ugly side of society both in terms of deep division and how extreme and accepted racism is for so many. The final song of the album, Celebration of the Century, offers some hope that this turbulent time of confrontation might help us right the wrongs and move us to a better place with a stronger unified society.