Hot New R&B Vol. 8

vol8

Originally published for The 405.

Things seem to have taken a bit of a moody turn this month, by absolutely no conscious effort of my own I should add, so I’ve tried to squeeze in a few upbeat tracks as well so as not to lead you all into a looming depressive state – you’re all very welcome.

We’ve got two experimental electronic tracks from SOHN and Anil Sebastian and an equally experimental remix of Azad’s track ‘Enough of You’ by SILKQ, as well as the seductive new slow jam from AlunaGeorge, a new solo release from The Internet’s Syd and a massive collab from GoldLink and fellow DMV rapper Ciscero, with KAYTRANADA and GoldLink on production.

Syd – ‘Amazing’

You’ll probably know Syd better as Syd the Kyd, ex-Odd Future member and current frontwoman of The Internet, but she’s dropped ‘the Kyd’ and gone it alone on new track ‘Amazing’ – well not entirely alone, as she’s roped in South London’s Dornik on production. Fun fact: Dornik used to be Jessie Ware’s touring drummer and after hearing his demos she helped him get signed to PMR Records, home of Ware herself and also of Jai Paul, Disclosure and Julio Bashmore. A commenter on SoundCloud described this collab as “neo-soul heaven” and neo-soul heaven it certainly is; not too far off what we’re used to normally hearing from Syd with The Internet.

GoldLink – ‘Fall in Love’ feat. Ciscero

It’s an all-star affair on this new GoldLink track, with a guest verse from Ciscero and production from KAYTRANADA and BADBADNOTGOOD. We’ve heard a couple of disco/funk-influenced tracks from GoldLink in the past but this is probably the biggest step he’s taken in to that realm yet. The production on ‘Fall in Love’ is phenomenal, incorporating KAYTRANADA’s funkiness and BADBADNOTGOOD’s jazziness to the best effect, whilst GoldLink and Ciscero spar it out on the verses. KAYTRANADA has since taken to Twitter to suggest that this isn’t the last collab we will hear from the two production powerhouses saying, “The whole universe ain’t ready for the future @badbadnotgood & kaytranada collabos.” If ‘Fall in Love’ is anything to go by, it’s safe to say we are definitely ready and waiting guys.

AlunaGeorge – ‘Mediator’

Massive Aaliyah vibes on the new one from AlunaGeorge. The track is taken from the London duo’s new album I Remember, which also features previous releases ‘I’m in Control’, ‘I Remember’, ‘My Blood’ and ‘Mean What I Mean’, and features guest spots from the likes of Popcaan, Zhu, Leikeli47 and Dreezy. Steering away from the dancehall influences on the album’s previous singles, ‘Mediator’ is the perfect slow jam to add to the group’s already bursting canon of tunes. Aluna Francis’ vocals are at their smoothest and most sultry, gliding over George Reid’s delicately soulful production, as the duo prove they can do down-tempo just as well as they can do up-tempo.

SOHN – ‘Signal’

Within a week of dropping new track ‘Signal’, his first solo track since the release of his debut album Tremors in 2014, London-born producer and frequent BANKS collaborator SOHN shared the track’s accompanying visual, directed by and starring Milla Jovovich. An unlikely pairing, you might be thinking, but Jovovich has confessed to being a huge fan of SOHN and described ‘Signal’ as “…everything I love about music, all there in one song.” The black-and-white video was shot in one-take and sees two versions of Jovovich – one in the foreground and one in the background – appearing distressed and tormented, bringing the track’s eeriness to life.

Azad – ‘Enough of You’ (SILKQ Remix)

Sad dancehall might just be my favourite genre going right now; that said, this is the only track I’ve seen labelled as it but I would definitely like to hear more. This remix is taken from LA rapper/producer Azad’s Enough of You (The Remixes) EP, with the original track produced by Sángo, Atu and Dpat. The stand-out remix on the EP comes from Canadian producer SILKQ, who changed up the original version from a dark hip-hop track into a dark electronic track with R&B undertones that sounds very Arca-esque. If you like this, check out SILKQ’s mini-EP for equally experimental, Arca-esque vibes.

Anil Sebastian – ‘We Both Know’

Another dark, sweeping electronic track for you here, this time from London-based singer/producer Anil Sebastian, who has drawn comparisons to the likes to Arca, Rhye and Active Child and it’s easy to see why. ‘We Both Know’ was produced by himself, along with assistance from his brother Ingmar and Jon Hopkins collaborator Cherif Hashizume and is taken from his upcoming debut album Mesonoxian. Outside of his solo work, Sebastian is the leader and founder of The LCV (London Contemporary Voices Choir), which explains his exquisite vocal abilities. There’s so much going on here that it’s difficult to know where to start: from the insane range of Sebastian’s voice to the delicacy of the strings to the sparseness of the production, it is an absolutely stunning track and sets a strong precedent for Sebastian’s debut album.

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