Scolls plays around with themes of privacy, disillusionment and personal development over eleven tracks, representing a transitional time in McFerren’s life. Through Scrolls’ early stages he moved from New York, where he was holding down a residency at Brooklyn’s Bossa Nova Civic Club and playing regularly in downtown Manhattan at the iconic China Chalet and the now much missed Santos Party House, to the open, rural setting of South Carolina.
The albums personality, and the thematic preoccupations underlying it, reflect the impact of this contrast. It’s sound textures cast widely into what McFerren describes as “the ephemera of the saturated digital realm” while moving through arcane rhythms, chiming melodies and expansive, metallically tinged ambient passages. First single Lean In, streaming in full now, is a dusty breaks-tight miasma of fragmented cyber-consciousness. There are playful, hyperactive refrains on Getting Ridiculous. Leavin’ Church Early is an expansive beat free meditation, while NYC’s dynamic momentum is a cityscape of bad-faith corporate aspiration.
McFerren refers to his motivations with Scrolls as being “anti-nihilism”, as reacting against a dark emptiness he perceives in certain forms of techno. Ultimately with the record, he is seeking the potential of centring joy in the present moment, in a conscious awareness of now.