Indie Music

One to watch: Ekkstacy

Be it Joy Division, Nirvana or Phoebe Bridgers, there are certain artists who have captured adolescent melancholy for their generation. Twenty-one-year-old singer-songwriter Ekkstacy (real name Khyree Zienty; known as Stacy) makes that music for his own cohort, offering up sweet, engaging vocals and guitars drenched in heady melodrama and deep feeling.

As a kid in Vancouver, Zienty grew up on SoundCloud rappers and 2008-era surfer indie (think the Drums, Wavves, Girls etc). In high school, after his parents’ divorce, his first experimentation with drugs led to a psychotic breakdown and a fall from a second-floor window. The subsequent hospitalisation and aftermath left him depressed and anxious, so he began to channel the feelings into his music: woozy, rap-adjacent tracks, dour emo and plush indie pop.

Ekkstacy’s sound these days is taut, melodic and comforting. He’s already on his third full-length record – a self-titled album released earlier this month. Ekkstacy is full of scuzzy, soaring guitars and lyrics about longing, drinking, self-loathing, possessiveness and, on lead single Chicago, the joys of getting lost in another person. Tracks such as 2021’s buoyant I Walk This Earth All By Myself have been going viral on TikTok, and you can hear why. Ekkstacy makes enduring songs, threading together the infinite feelings of youth’s highs and lows.

Ekkstacy is out now via UnitedMasters. Ekkstacy plays Glasgow (14 March), Dublin (15th), Manchester (17th) and London (18th)

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