The Baltimore-born, Atlanta-based artist shows a different side of Awful.

Micah Freeman has been a part of the Awful Records crew for a while now, but most of his recorded music — his 2012 debut Timepiece and last year’s throwback Heartspace EP — pre-dates their year of ascendance.

Heartspace was intended to the be the first in of a trio of EPs that never materialized, but when Awful started popping off, Freeman thought it was the perfect time to change direction from retro-soul vibes to something more modern.

As with many projects, The Red EP is the product of a a break-up. “It led me to different phases of processing it: depression, getting over it, partying, the single love-life thing,” Freeman explains. “There was some spiritual enlightenment-seeking in there somewhere, too.”

That “emotional turmoil” led him to create something “escapist,” in the way that the tumult of the ‘70s led to disco. “There was a lot of social discord at that time, and people reacted in a party-all-night kinda way,” he says, drawing comparisons to our current moment.

While Freeman has adopted Awful’s less-than-precious approach to recording and releasing music (“I’ve stopped overthinking my songs,” he says), The Red is a bit of sonic outlier in their catalog. “It’s different from what’s expected from Awful at this point, but I think that’s a good thing — it shows how eclectic we are,” he explains. “I just want people to have fun and dance.”

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