Posts Tagged ‘R&B’

May 30, 2018

You might recall Alec Benjamin as the gifted singer songwriter from Arizona who’s collaborated in the past with the likes of Jon Bellion, Matisyahu, Jamie Scott, and more. Or you might remember when we gushed fervently about his stripped down demo The Knife in My Back or ardently extolled the wistful beauty of End Of The Summer. Now we find ourselves sighing away to Alec Benjamin’s new single, Let Me Down Slowly, an R&B pop infused ballad brimming with lovelorn anguish but flush with resilient beats and a bass grooving cadence. That’s right, there’s no forgetting Alec Benjamin once he’s serenaded us with his vibing tunes, whether intimately stripped back or awash with rhythmic instruments. There’s no escaping his remarkable voice, delivered so effortlessly and with heartfelt sentiment. If there’s anyone you need to “let down slowly”, make sure to play them this song; it’ll smooth out the ongoing rough patch. Stream more of Alec Benjamin’s songs and demos on Soundcloud, here. Let Me Down Slowly is available, here.

May 22, 2018

I know this one’s been out for a moment, but we’re such massive fans of Toronto artist Jessie Reyez that we really couldn’t let an exceptional new song from her slip us by. It’s been a wild ride, falling for the R&B soul artist after encountering Figures and Shutter Island early last year and gunning for her as the next big thing. We even made it a point to catch her ONE set at SXSW last year, and we came back singing her praises and spreading the word about her as much as we could. Sure enough, Jessie Reyez has become quite the sensation since, and now she’s returned with Body Count, blessing us with her raw, emotive voice, so uniquely remarkable, and her edgy and bold sound, which often pushes the envelope when it comes to empowering women and other artists. Body Count is an anthem for self-love and expression, and its recent video, directed by Peter Huang, was inspired by the Salem witch trials, a historic moment when women were persecuted to the extreme. Reyez explains: “Sometimes for allegations of magic but often for low key sexual promiscuity or sexual selectiveness.  In short, you’re going to get judged anyway, so as long as you’re not hurting anyone and loving yourself, might as well do whatever you want. Whether that’s being celibate or being sexually free is your choice. Your body count is nobody’s business but your own.“ Stream/purchase Body Count, here.

May 22, 2018

19 year old Danish wunderkind Maximillian continues to drum up endless praise and growing adoration with the artist’s creamy melting, moody simmering music on new single Hollow Days. The great Dane hit the scene last year with songs like Higher, Feelings, and Strangers to great success. Maximillian exudes vulnerability and honesty on the latest addition to his growing catalog of sensual haunting R&B pop songs, so heavily drenched in atmospheric smoldering electronica. His velvety crooning and a striking melodic turn on the track melts us to the core, keeping us warm through the cool foggy days of spring that seem to stretch on forever here in San Francisco. How can there be any “hollow days” when we’re accompanied by Maximillian? Hollow Days can also be streamed on Spotify, here.

May 22, 2018

I’m not a very religious person, though I’ve made my way out to Buddhist temples numerous times due to my mom’s beliefs. Temples for me, are rather comforting places, where you can find peace of mind and heal from the past. British songwriter and producer Lex Low takes us to Temple with his latest single, a glistering R&B pop song adorned with ravishing electronic production and satin slick falsettos. The long time IHM-supported talent explains: 

“Temple is my way of dealing with the realisation that sometimes you don’t have all the tools to help yourself in a particular moment. Sometimes you need another person to help pull you out of a slump. I wanted to express that asking someone for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it can be a beautiful necessity; one that helps you grow and develop a deeper relationship with both yourself and the other person.” He reminds us that sometimes, the “temple” we’re looking for isn’t a physical place or a solitary frame of mind, but a welcome dependence on someone else. We should all open ourselves to that helping hand, as we’ve opened our hearts to this golden luscious, bright kindling song. Re-visit Lex Low’s prior singles on Soundcloud, here

May 22, 2018

In less than two weeks, I’ll finally get to cross “seeing Kllo” off my bucket list, though I can’t promise I won’t end up adding “seeing Kllo a second time” right back on immediately afterwards. We’ve been following along with the duo from Melbourne, Australia for over two years, and we’re ultra excited to finally experience them live when they headline Popscene in San Francisco on June 1st. The “potential” of me coming away from the show even more awestruck than before is more than high. The duo recently returned with a gorgeously stirring new tune named Potential, a soft trickling, tenderly yearning downtempo ballad whose supple R&B pop and mellow beats evoke WET melded into some early BROODS. The translucent heart-render is out now on Ghostly. Stream/download, here

May 18, 2018

I’m still kicking myself for not walking up to Christine and the Queens to say hi after I caught her very first performance on North American soil at SXSW a few years ago. She was hanging out by the stage after dazzling us with her dance moves and irresistible persona. I could have, I SHOULD have, gone up and said hello. After all, I’d made it a priority to be there for that performance, after falling in love with the French artist’s imaginative music and forward-thinking, convention-breaking music. She’s since become a global sensation, and now, Christine and the Queens is back with long awaited, highly anticipated new music. Girlfriend, a collaboration with Dâm-Funk, is a slick and chic tribute to G-funk that also feels very 90′s R&B. With her new music, Héloïse Letissier is stepping away from her acclaimed debut album Chaleur Humaine, towards what’s described as a more upbeat, tougher, and more minimalist sound. Girlfriend questions identity and plays with the performance of gender, and how the codes of “masculinity” are disrupted if the player isn’t a man. 

“I initially set out to smash against macho culture and macho men,” says Letissier. “I became obsessed with this idea of the macho man, and still being a woman. What does it mean if I’m this figure, and I’m a woman? Does it make me an aberration? Is it joyful?“ The song, too, is overwhelmed with desire. “I felt I had to address female desire and it’s diversity,” she says. “How sometimes it’s blacked out or ignored. It’s still something quite suspicious or slightly dirty. I felt like it was important to be more unapologetic about that. There are hints of nights spent having sex and coming back covered in sweat. Like a male figure, the young hero who has love stories, and comes back in the morning and his friends are like: ‘What happened to you?’ I want to be that.” Listen to the French version of Girlfriend below, entitled Damn, dis-moi. An extensive world tour begins this fall, details can be found, here. Girlfriend is available, here.

May 17, 2018

Ever enigmatic production luminary ZHU dropped his new EP Ringos Desert Pt 1 last month, on which he continued to push the boundaries of house music and electronica. We were hoping the new release and the lack of a Bay Area tour date on his fall DUNE tour meant he would be announced as part of this year’s Treasure Island Music Festival lineup. Though we’re rather disappointed that this hasn’t happened, we’re also quite glad that ZHU has dropped a music video for slinky smoldering

Still Want U, his song with England’s Karnaval Blues. It’s the second track from Ringos Desert Pt 1, and a sparse misty, spacious burbling dose of deep humming, sensual simmering house hypnosis. Learn more about ZHU’s DUNE tour, here. We’re holding out hope that there’s still going to be an announcement about additional dates. Stream Ringos Desert Pt 1, here.

May 16, 2018

Three weeks have flown by since Couros alighted back on our radar with a song named Young. Though we’re still stuck on that scintillating effusion of electronica and R&B, we find ourselves thoroughly consumed by the London-based producer’s magnificent new song Undertone. His production is flawless on the lustrous swooning track, which features rich summer melodies and silky chord patterns. Wistful yet euphoric, Undertone swirls and swells with tactile warmth. Golden luscious Undertone is nothing short of spectacular, a bedazzling display of lavish electronica and sensuous R&B pop. Plus, singer songwriter Alyss’ sultry sleek crooning is outstanding. Undertone is taken from Couros’ upcoming 5-track EP on PMR Records. 

May 11, 2018

I never knew oranges could be emotional. I always figured if we were to ascribe emotions to a vegetable or a fruit, it would have to be the onion. But I find myself overly emotional (in a good way) over this fine debut from a new alt-pop crew named Emotional Oranges. They drench us with stunning vocal harmonies and lights us up with a funky groove on their flashy song Motion, which exhibits shades of Anderson .Paak and The xx within its golden luscious R&B pop vocals, shimmying beats, and smelted guitar work. The newcomers are the latest chic and stylish artists to watch out of Los Angeles. Motion can be streamed and downloaded via alternate platforms, here.

May 11, 2018

I’m not sure how you’re supposed to pronounce rx Soul’s name, but the “rx” in the moniker tends to remind me of pharmacy prescriptions. Perhaps that’s what the LA based artist was going for… prescription soul, or aural balm the heart needs to get over the anguish of heartbreak and longing. rx Soul first offered up such an elixir when he made their debut with All The Way There earlier this year. And now the blooming talent is back with his fourth single, Pilldreams, a stunnin collaboration with hip hop artist INDICA. Pilldreams’ nebulous atmosphere and slow simmering R&B soul is punctuated with swanky guitar curls. It’s a woozy swooning sonic medication that seemingly alternates between The Weeknd’s dark sensual R&B and Opia’s torrid simmering R&B funk, all shrouded in a sea of thick purling haze. rx Soul states of the track: “I wrote this song for all the times I’ve found myself tempted to "take a pill” to solve a problem instead of investigating and addressing the root of the issue. Self-medication can mean a lot of different things for me, and whatever shape it comes in it can be hard to recognize, much less fight off. Pilldreams is just two sides of that same fight.“ Pilldreams can also be streamed via Spotify, here.