Browsing Tag

Alt RnB

Darius Marquis takes us ‘Higher’ with his alt-RnB single

With a similar tonal palette to the one used in Nirvana’s iconic track, Something in the Way, in addition to the faint reminiscences to Hozier, the up-and-coming independent RnB artist Darius Marquis, well and truly came into his own through his artfully experimental single, Higher.

We fully attest to the single’s ability to take you higher through the transcendental feel of the soundscape, which breaks through from the grungy indie guitars in the prelude. The calm and collected nature of the vocals makes it all too easy to meditate on the laidback lyrics that illuminate a more mindful way of living. For your own sake, make it a playlist staple. The hypnotic textures of the track have what it takes to strip ennui from the soul by sonically alluding to the emotional quiescence we should all be striving for. The Houston-hailing artist and producer is definitively one to watch.

Watch the official music video for Higher on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

School is in session for Monicasuperiorroze’s lesson on sensuality in her seminal single, Close

The spotlight is moving ever closer to the sensuous soulstress, Monicasuperiorroze. The Palmdale-residing RnB artist brought as much heat as the Cali sun she finds her inspiration under in her seminal single, Close.

The kicked-based grooves and sultry harmonies set an elevated laid-back tone, while the lyrics show how visceral affection should always be. With nuances of trip-hoppy jazz written into the extended mix and ample room for vocal progression and tensile amplification, Close is a whirlwind for all the senses.

There is a discernible boldness and confidence in her indie RnB stylings; she could never be accused of being assimilative. If she’s following any rulebook, it is the one she constructed from the confetti after ripping up the rules laid down by everyone before her.

Stream Close on YouTube. Follow Monicasuperiorroze on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NALLA is liberatingly demure in her orchestrally originated alt RnB Single, Sidechick

There are few things in this life as bitter-sweet as concluding that you’re a sidepiece for someone you have fallen wholeheartedly for, which NALLA demurely explores in her latest single, Sidechick.

The smoky R&B single pays homage to the roots of the genre while replanting them through a fresh futuristic vision that resounds through the distorted vocals in the intro and the glitchy rhythm of the beats that allow the sensually convictive single to veer into the trip-hop arena.

If any single is going to compel you to stand by your convictions and muster enough self-esteem to walk away from an unworthy lothario who probably needs to spend thousands in therapy before he works through his inability to commit, it’s this orchestrally scored masterpiece.

Sidechick is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ozzie Aguilera channelled their natural sultry beguile into the dream pop fantasy of a resilience-advocating single, You Can’t Give Up

The autonomy advocator Ozzie Aguilera is a sonic vision in their latest jazzy RnB dream-pop single, You Can’t Give Up. The single testifies to the strength that everyone who goes against the heteronormative mould has to muster to stand a chance in a world that claims to celebrate individuality before beating down anyone that shines a little brighter than the rest.

The powerfully demure single extends the ‘haters gonna hate’ conversation to serve as a reminder that there will always be times when you feel like giving in, but relenting to that entropy will never be your only option.

The Mexican American singer-songwriter, makeup artist and entrepreneur may claim to strive for emotional expression over perfection; in my view, they’re a faultless pioneer who always leaves us arrested by their ethereal grace and natural sultry beguile.

You Can’t Give Up was officially released on December 9th. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sweet Limb – Straight Up: Upbeat & Soul-Bleached Texas RnB

With speaker-blasting bass reverberating under the jazzy keys and colourful dream-pop melodies, Sweet Limb’s alternative RnB single, Straight Up, is a straight-up masterpiece.

His direct spoken-word hip hop-style vocals over the intricately layered instrumentals pull you right into the centre of the playful, upbeat, and soul-bleached record that will spill dopamine every time you hook into the high-vibe release. “I don’t trust anyone but us” may be a simple lyric, but the romanticism within it is powerfully profound in the context of the dreamy single that pays homage to the salvation in connection.

Straight Up is just one of the singles found on Sweet Limb’s sugar rush of a 2022 EP, Vibes, which is everything it says on the tin. The Texas-based DIY independent artist Chris Robinson always draws from real-life experience to give the guarantee that every release you dip into that has seeped from his stunningly creative mind will resound on a resonant level.

Straight Up is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Uriel J. Winfree III brought in the future of RnB with the cinematically sensuous ‘Stranger of Mine’

Uriel J. Winfree III’s latest genre-fluid single, Stranger of Mine, will school you in sensuality. The Brooklyn-based artist takes influence from Chino (Deftones), Black Dante, Sam Cook and Hendrix for his hypnotically seductive amalgams of R&B, Indie, Rap, Hip Hop and Soul.

Stranger of Mine starts with a futuristic hyper-pop prelude before the smooth demure energy starts to flood the intricately layered electronica instrumentals, which push RnB beyond the contemporary curve. He single-handedly created a new trajectory in the evolution of the genre while keeping the impassioned soul and romanticism that the genre’s roots will always be implanted.

The tattooist, actor, filmmaker, singer-songwriter and performer seems to have cinematic multi-faceted talent from every pore. The best part? None of his elevated and artful creations feels too stylised to resonate as inaccessible.

Stranger of Mine is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

MEVS sent a surge of funk-riding euphoria through the airwaves with his feel-good disco-pop anthem, Groovin’

Carving his own untrodden path back to the 70s, the Puerto Rican trailblazer, MEVS, unleashed the soul-stirring slice of euphoric funk-riding disco-pop, Groovin’.

While artists will tune in with envy of his capacity to release such a blazing debut, fans of funk, alt-RnB and authentic old-school soul will surrender to the danceable electricity in the progressively dynamic release, which paints across the brighter corners of the tonal spectrum.

Starting with the sultry rolling basslines in the smoky prelude before exploding into a riot of flavour with Nile Rodgers guitar chops and a strong brass section, immersing yourself in this intrinsically rhythmic earworm which uses ‘never give up, never give in’ as an enlivening reprise will always send a flood of dopamine through your synapses.

Groovin’ is the first single from MEVS’ debut album, Sentient Beings in the Streets, which is set to release in 2023. Even if you don’t stay tuned, something tells me his enlivening soul will be coming to a dance floor near you anyway.

Groovin’ is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Alejandra sells sonic sanctuary in her ethereal RnB house single, the people look like flowers (at last)

Inspired by identity issues imposed by her Mexican-American heritage, the Atlanta, Georgia-blossoming artist, Alejandra is here to affirm that identity is a construct and prove the collective power in raising our individual vibrations.

Her third single, the people look like flowers (at last), dropped on November 11th to create a safe and sensuous space for her listeners to explore their identities while basking in the soul that radiates from the feat of ethereal house. After an almost ambient Avant-Garde intro, the lush layers kick into downbeat house grooves while Alejandra lays her arrestingly dreamy vocal lines over the mellifluous melodies that effortlessly transplant you into a more peaceful state of mind.

“This is the latest instalment in my genre-bending discography, which aims to bridge communities together through the perspectives of a bicultural lens. The song is a lush, ethereal house track that explores the interconnectedness of this world and the power that can be harnessed through raising individual vibration.

The song uplifts the listener in love and freedom by curating a dream world for people to experience the sensations of the divine forces circulating through their physical environments. The track infuses disco, soul house, chillwave, hip hop and RnB to deliver a meditative blend that invites the listener to dance, play, and breathe deeply.”

Her commitment to reversing polarity while exploring the complexities of identity with her already awe-inspiring body of work is a sure sign of even greater things to come from the socially aware icon in the making.

Listen to the people look like flowers (at last) on Spotify.

Follow Alejandra to stay up to date with her latest releases via Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hipe the Nomad is Fighting for Love in his Clannad-Esque feat of Alt-RnB

With Clannad-Esque non-lexical vocal lines that are smooth and haunting enough to give you chills, Hipe the Nomad’s latest alternative single, Fighting for Love, does exactly what it says on the tin.

If the Cocteau Twins ventured into RnB, the end result wouldn’t be all too dissimilar from the ethereal soul in Fighting for Love, which was inspired in part by the Weeknd’s Trilogy and Sampha’s Sbtrkt era. Reminiscences aside, it is evident that the British / Saint Lucian artist is a pioneer of his own making. He’s as much of a nomad in the aural world as he is in the physical world; both lend themselves to his smooth, ambient RnB edge.

The official music video for Fighting for Love is available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alexandra created a vocal symphony in her cinematic RnB rock release, Grieve You 

Pulling elements of rock and RnB together with cinematic grace is a trait the Sydney soulstress Alexandra is quickly becoming infamous for. Her latest single, Grieve You, is her finest introspective score to date. Alexandra’s artful command over her vocal range is a symphony in itself.
Late one night, the compulsion to greet and say goodbye to her inner child reflectively came to fruition. Resulting in a sombre ode to the lack of closure that we all mourn from the tribulations we endured when we were too young and naïve to advocate for ourselves. Whatever your history, the shimmering reverb in Grieve You around the angular pirouetting guitars is sure to bring some catharsis.
Grieve You will officially release on October 7th. Catch it on SoundCloud. 
Review by Amelia Vandergast