Friday, October 8, 2021

Carissa Johnson featuring Cliff Notez - "Running Uphill"

Photo by Jaina Cipriano

I don't think it's possible for me to be more excited about a song than I am about this one. I come from a generation where the lines of rock and rap were just starting to be blurred by artists collaborating. It started with Run/DMC and Aerosmith, continued with Anthrax and Public Enemy, and peaked with the Judgement Night soundtrack. For some reason, that kind of pairing seems to have faded in the past couple of decades but it looks like Boston is singlehandedly bringing it back! The latest is Carissa Johnson pairing with Cliff Notez on "Running Uphill." The new song is the ultimate Carissa Johnson song. It's pure garage rock with a strong, catchy as all hell pop element. Johnson has mastered dabbling in both rock and pop at the same time, and "Running Uphill" is the pinnacle of that. In perfect rock/rap collaboration tradition, Cliff Notez comes in towards the end and drops a verse. The music slows down for him, but unlike the Helmet/House of Pain contribution to Judgement Night, it doesn't feel awkward at all since the same tempo change was established earlier in the song. Let's all hope "Running Uphill" is just the latest in a long line of Boston based rap/rock pairings!

You can watch the video for "Running Uphill" below. Blue Hour is due out November 12. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Carissa Johnson, check out the artist's website. You can find more on Cliff Notes over at Facebook.

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