Terminal 14 paints a starry night over opaque, winter days.

Over the last three years, Sweeps has witnessed his momentum take flight with his jazz-brewed hip-hop soaked in syrupy synths. The Boston-based producer is known for his ability to marry instrumentals—compounding elements of jazz, electronica, and hip-hop—and devise wistful, celestial soundscapes, transforming any ordinary bedroom-listening session into a profound, intergalactic excursion. 

Influenced by the Retrofuturism movement—a movement in which artists depict a future influenced by the past—nostalgia seeps through every corner of this star-spangled project. Terminal 14 is an imagined concept, Sweeps explains. “Located in Nebula IC 2118, it acts as a home away from home for nomadic drifters, cargo crews, and mission men. The album documents transmissions that depict the stories shared on Terminal 14.” Ranking in as his eighth full-length project, Sweeps maintains his romantic, empyrean sound within this album; he’s added just a bit more depth through poignant instrumentals, fully forming the narratives behind each track with every emotion depicted.

While Terminal 14 is a strongly-themed collection, each track can stand alone as its own force. Ruminative and pacific, the second track on the list, “lean back and look at the stars,” leaves a melancholic taste as sounds of streaming water fill the track, swishing gently over blue-toned beats and a wavering trumpet. As the track reaches its outro, the instrumentals fade, leaving the sound of a flowing river current that is so vivid, it glistens with feelings of reconciliation.

The seventh track on the list, “wait until the rain stops,” subsists on a simple, straightforward rhythm, but a harrowing piano and a few austere synths are what shape this story and bring the message within the title to life. Dim and despondent chords are blended into this one track, making every corner of this piece dark, isolating, and existential. These emotive instrumentals place the listener into a reflective head space and assembles an image of a black hole with no end in sight; but as the title advises, patience is required to see a glimmer of hope. As, much like the rain, this brooding track comes to an end, a bit of light shines through in the follow-up track, “when i get back.” Doleful violins and a spirited piano ascend and compose a soundtrack that almost feels like this project’s rise to glory. There’s a feeling of determination that resonates in this piece—a beautiful depiction of shooting for the stars. 

Each track, Sweeps perfectly describes is “lush” and “meditative… while contributing to the overall concept of the project.” Sentiments of hardship and triumph permeate throughout this project, outlining intricate stories and emotions that make Terminal 14 a profound project with which to meditate. These harmonies breathe with significant purpose. Beyond sharing stories, Terminal 14 encourages listeners to connect with these narratives and the visceral emotions evoked within them. 

You can pre-order Terminal 14 here.

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