EP Spotlight: Open Mike Eagle – What Happens When I Try to Relax

Open Mike Eagle has a lot going on these days. From operating and co-hosting multiple podcasts in the past few years, to writing and producing an upcoming show on Comedy Central called The New Negroes, to a role in a movie, to his recent bout as a pro wrestler…Mike’s plate has been full as of late.

I suppose it’s fitting, then, that his newest offering, What Happens When I Try to Relax, was given such an appropriate name, considering that this was created in what probably should have been a period of relaxation; instead, he’s delivered new music.

“I made [What Happens When I Try to Relax] in a month,” Mike said in a post on Twitter. “…we had just wrapped production on [The New Negroes] and I had a month to make things before other things started happening.”

What Happens When I Try to Relax marks Mike Eagle’s first release on his own label AutoReverse Records, and his first project since last year’s excellent Brick Body Kids Still Daydream.

Open Mike Eagle excels at delivering introspection and intelligent social commentary through an entertaining, sometimes darkly comedic, lens; that rings true once again on his latest EP. Beginning with “Relatable,” a somewhat-humorous examination of his own social anxiety (“Sometimes when I’m social I feel incompatible”), Mike Eagle ever so subtly traverses a myriad of social, economic, and political topics: the Black Lives Matter movement and conversations surrounding race in America (“And black life value is not a size / So, what you mean if you askin’ us to compromise?”); an allegorical critique of social media and millennial culture on the song “Single Ghosts” (“It’s like people die when they phones do”); and an honest look at Mike’s personal economy on the song “Southside Eagle” (I’m getting bread, but I’m still living in the red”), among other topics.

For a project that took only a month to make, What Happens When I Try to Relax has a lot of quality. Check it out below.

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