Smoooooooooooooooooooooooooooth vibes for Friday fulfilment.
Dark, Joji-adjacent r&b vibes on the latest single from US artist bloodcat, with geloガザ on production duties blending a plaintive piano line with crisp, trappy beats and bloodcat’s warped vocal, with satisfyingly nihilistic results.
One 4 Me is the first track on Yayoyanoh’s self-titled debut album, commencing 30 or so minutes of some of the silkiest, most atmospheric R&B I’ve heard for some time. Laid back flows and reverb abound, so if you’re into that kind of vibe you’re in for a treat.
Mariah The Scientist’s brilliant album RY RY WOLRD was criminally overlooked in every end of year list in 2021 – the ones I read at least – which is a real shame, especially as most publications seemed to have a soft spot for other, lesser contemporary R&B offerings (I’m looking at you Heaux Tales!) Anyway, she’s now back with a new EP Buckles Laboratories Presents: The Intermission that opens with this vintage cut. I hope her lack of plaudits is grating on her less than it is on me.
Lady Wray released her long-awaited album Piece Of Me last week, and thankfully it’s a banger, the only drawback being that if you’ve kept up with the run of singles over the last couple of years, you’ve already heard half of it, including a lot of the best tracks. There’s still some previously unreleased gold in there though like opener I Do, and if you’re completely new to her music you’re in for an intensely soulful treat.
I’ve listened to Ehiorobo’s album Joltjacket a few times since it came out in December, and it’s really a very impressive and incredibly creative body of work. At times it cane be a big jarring: like he’s trying to cram just a few too many disparate ideas, rhythms and textures into too narrow a space, but you can’t argue with the level of artistry on show. He’s managed to carve a pretty peerless space for himself: his music reminds me a little of Choker – but even more freewheeling. Maker is the final track, and a clear highlight from an album that definitely deserves more attention than it’s received so far.
“It’s Whack History Month. Any month I’m dropping back-to-back, it’s Whack History Month, so that’s what we’re doing,” So says Tierra Whack, who today released her third EP in as many weeks, following up previous drops Rap? and Pop? with R&B? – a three track which concludes with this spellbindingly sorrowful gem directly out of the Drake manual of reflective morosity.
“My goal is always to help and to heal people with singing” says Lady Wray of her latest single, Thank You. “Part of that is to try and bring back real music, real singing, so people can feel something again.” Worked on me! Thank You is without question her most powerful, moving single since Piece Of Me.
The only thing that slightly bothers me about this is that Thank You is already the fifth single to be released from her new album Piece Of Me due out in January. It’s kinda sad that the way the industry is currently beholden to Spotify et al., we will have been exposed to nearly half the album before it lands. Albums are a sacred format – at least to me – and I’d much rather listen to one in its entirety not knowing what’s coming next, rather than already being overly familiar with it. Sufjan’s Beginners Mind suffered from exactly this problem earlier this year: six singles had been released ahead of the album – pretty much all the strongest records on there – which led to a slightly underwhelming album release day.
But then that’s just me. I expect lots of people will just enjoy this without fretting about it so much.
Gabriels’ Jacob Lusk has never sounded better than on Stranger, one of the four tracks on the LA-based soul group’s second EP Bloodline, which ebbs and flows between sombre reflection and full-on, string-led, orchestral bombast. An extremely assured next step on an increasingly impressive path: widespread recognition is surely on the horizon.
This is the debut single from Brazilian artist Yvy Maraey, working in collaboration with Berlin-based US rapper Mike Nasa. Incorporating elements of Bossa nova, hip hop, rnb and soul, A Família sits somewhere between Solange and Buscabulla, with a slow, chugging beat providing an earthy base for her sublime vocal. One to watch, for sure.