During the lead-up to the project’s release, Darko constructed a detached, isolated, and semi-dark aesthetic across his social media channels as a precursor for the music that was soon to come.
The project’s production shows the young artist on a whole new level, acting as a display of maturation within his craft. As the listener moves down the track-list, the dark, spacey, and sometimes a fast-paced sound of the album unlocks a new version of Darko, providing the tape with a video game-like aesthetic. “Counting Time” feels almost Final Fantasy-esque, while a song like “Over Sensory” finds the listener in the middle of a gritty boss battle. Sonically, this is Darko’s best work yet and shows how serious he has been taking his art.
Lyrically, the artist behind the standout hit “Trust Kills” touches on themes of mistrust and heartbreak. Darko maintains a disdained tone while voicing his feelings on past lovers, lost friends, mistakes made, and misplaced loyalty. While this may be the weakest part of the project, Darko’s message still comes across loud and clear.
In 13 songs, listeners are afforded a range of flows unheard until now, as Darko attempts to avoid monotony throughout the project’s 30-minute run time. “Leave La” is a perfect example of the artist exploring new territory, as he jostles to find harmony with the instrumental for the duration of the song. The diverse array of cadences makes each track fresh and interesting upon first listening.
This Feels Familiar is the Columbus artist finally figuring out who he wants to be and settling into his own pocket. When asked how he feels about the tape since its release, Darko says that, aesthetically, he feels the project fits him perfectly. There is still room for growth, but Darko is priming himself for the next stages of his career and wants the attention that he feels he deserves, and with a quality project like this, it’ll be hard to avoid him in the near future.