Otis Mensah explores vulnerability with Hemlock Ernst on “Breath of Life”

Otis Mensah continues to cement his place as a formidable voice in the world of poetry and hip-hop. The native Sheffield, U.K. poet laureate, has returned with a moody new single entitled “Breath of Life” – the first installment in a series he’s calling #OtisMensahExists that will feature a rollout of new singles accompanied by original animations. While “Breath of Life” finds Mensah exploring personal themes like anxiety and fear, it also features a guest verse by Hemlock Ernst of Future Islands.

Brelstaff delivers a patiently paced, soulful production that creates a worthy backdrop for Mensah and Ernst’s introspective lyrics. In his typical earnest writing style, Mensah makes himself vulnerable right from the start with the words, “Scared of the walls / merciless is Murphy’s Law / mercy me and gaping sore / from the core my fears pour.” The poetic lyricism eloquently articulates aspects of humanity that so often go unacknowledged.

The single’s understated animation in the accompanying music video offers an apt visual representation with haunting imagery that coincides with the primal anxiety in the words. With help from Brelstaff’s affecting production and Ernst’s guest verse, Otis Mensah shows us once again that his voice deserves to be heard by the world.

“Breath of Life” is available to stream or download here.

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