Ethan Herlock held it down in the Moncler goose.
Winter’s here and in Britain, that shit just hits differently (hold tight all my British mandem). There’s the gloominess invades you when you look of your bedroom curtains and it’s dark out by 4 p.m. The long waits for the 177 to Peckham in the blistering cold because there’s always roadworks on New Cross Road. The laborious treading in dirt-ridden snow. The alt-grime artist sonically encapsulates that grueling winter in “It’s Cold Out” for the upcoming release of his EP: Time Heals, Money Kills.
Jawnino intensifies that “coldness” that the Godfather of Grime, Wiley says he felt when he created timeless, arctic-themed beats. “Broken Britain but that’s the way we like it init,” Jawnino opens the track with a stiff upper lip over the chilling arpeggios and eskiboy-esque drum patterns provided by Poundshop and intentionallycold. This “Broken Britain” is the playground where Jawnino’s observations morph into a life of its own where he questions if he has another spare change “for a chicken and chips / half pint or maybe a Twix.”
The same Britain where everyone is grinding to make ends meet despite the methods; “it’s not a beautiful game anymore, live by joga (to play beautifully) or die by the law,” he raps with ire but there’s a distant resilience that lies underneath the grit. Jawnino condenses these labyrinthine thoughts that we feel but often struggle to communicate and he does with a stop-start flow, his mind racing off, as if he’s philosophizing in real-time.
Though Jawnino waxes poetic that weaves into nihilism, there are plenty of dimensions to the balaclava-donning rapper than the ethos of hustling for survival. There’s the injection of jejune cheekiness when he spits about sending love to his ex’s family before snatching the statement with a grin in the next bar. In the bridge, Jawnino repeats bars like koans as the MC goes searches for his soul, recognises himself and then reinvents himself. It’s a never-ending cycle and there’s no grand declaration at the end because during the winter, we’re all soul-searching until the sun rises and stays up for longer.