‘Distant Colors’ is the latest compassionately composed single from the New York-born, Philadelphia-based alt-RnB artist, and producer, NIA. Her signature spiritualism weaved its way into the downtempo release that explores inner turmoil for the emotionally attuned. For anyone who has ever cursed the depth of their emotional intellect, Distant Colors will act as an olive branch of empathy. As NIA’s light vocal timbre falls into the echoey and reverb-drenched shimmering guitars, the solid, steady drumbeats give the track enough structure while letting the ambience breathe through. The single was written, recorded and produced at NIA’s home studio; before being mixed and mastered by Tito Orjih at Oscar’s Greenhouse.
Here’s what NIA had to say about the release:
“My single, Distant Colors, expresses the raw emotion of being in tune with our inner struggles. Not only does this downtempo R&B tune tackle the feeling of isolation; it also represents the realness of the relationship that we have with ourselves.”
NIA started songwriting at an early age; on her journey to adulthood, she’s continued to hone in on her inexplicable talent that will instantly pique the interest of fans of Sade. Shortly after graduating from Shippensburg University, she established her record label, Chill Room Records and formed her band, The Chill Room Band. With new material in the pipeline, she’s definitely one to watch.
Distant Colors is now available to stream on Spotify.
On November 8th, Montreal’s most luminary RnB soulstress, Annie Christina, launched her debut album, Beautiful Words Came to Form Havoc, on Bandcamp ahead of the official December 2021 release.
The lead track, Take Me Far Away, is a quiescently meditative soundscape that resonates like the calm after a storm. The Canadian singer-songwriter, producer and DJ has taken a structurally experimental approach to her music since her debut but it truly shines through in the ambience of Take Me Away, which falls away from the ABABCB structure and grooves through dreamy experimental progressions which tie in nuances of dream pop, trip-hop.
Take Me Far Away is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.
Melbourne’s most mellifluous singer-songwriter and artist, Elysia, has released her soulful alt-RnB serenade, Cherry Moon, which melodically translates the conversation between two infatuated souls exploring the blossoming stages of a relationship.
Despite the intensity of the emotion, the jazzy minimalist soundscape leaves you the opposite of over faced; the breezy quiescence of the single compels you to lean into it deeply to absorb every ounce of the elysian soul that is served with almost matchless finesse.
Elysia’s zen vibes and commitment to raw, honest expression is a breath of fresh air in our dystopic times – and we certainly aren’t the only ones to think so. The up and coming artist’s debut single amassed over 2k streams overnight, and Cherry Moon, featuring the smooth rap bars from South Side Denny discernibly has what it takes to go viral. Producer and pianist, Pastels ensured that the opulent hit was never in danger of falling flat.
Cherry Moon is due for official release on November 11th. You can check it out for yourselves on SoundCloud.
‘Peace in the Sky’, featuring vocalist, Ellen Mara, is easily the most hypnotic RnB trip pop single so far from the jazzy instrumental duo Mid Ground. The easy movements of the notes remind you of how sweet freedom can feel as the lyrics do the same.
The single switches the RnB narratives that consistently chase and mourn lust; it delivers a reminder that the only person worth finding is yourself. By playing with rich, ethereal and electrifying textures, the lush reverb-swathed grooves in Peace in the Sky leave you absorbed from start to finish. My soul feels infinitely lighter for hearing this tranquil yet fierce affirmation that independence is infinitely more rewarding than co-dependence.
Peace in the Sky was officially released on September 17th; you can check it out for yourselves via Bandcamp & SoundCloud.
If it has been a while since you encountered a truly pioneering RnB artist, strap yourselves in for Figgy Fargo’s EP, ‘A Fall from Space’; it’s a dreamy trip through the Pennsylvania-born artist’s psyche. With the melodically futuristic ambience, it practically demands to be on your vibe-out playlists.
The standout single ‘Out of Me’ is an evocatively jagged masterpiece through which Figgy Fargo wears his influences on his sleeves while ensuring that not one moment of A Fall from Space feels assimilative. It is safe to say that any fans of Drake, Lil Wayne and Juice Wrld will want to delve into the rhythmically mellifluous, emotionally torrid track.
A Fall from Space is now available to stream via Spotify.
FordOhhFord saved the best for last with their RnB soul album, ‘Girl Problems 2’ which dropped on Valentine’s Day. The concluding single ‘Last Breath’, featuring vocals from Ria706 is a testament to the up and coming artist’s ability to create a vibe and allow it to swallow you whole.
Last Breath is a soft jazzy declaration of love that may play with some cliches within the lyrics, but thanks to the intimacy of this stripped back and minimalist affair, the sincerity overrides the familiarity of the sentiment.
Girl Problems 2 is now available to stream and purchase in full via apple music.
With IVPLLAY DHE GUARDIAAN’s latest single, ‘SHANG TSUNG’, spiritually and sensuality come rhythmically entwined. It’s practically a tantric experience in itself.
The slow, seductive, reverb-drenched notes, produced by IVPLLAY & 2TIMEZ, flow beneath the RnB-style vocals that croon through lyrics that are carnal enough to make Marvin Gaye sound asexual. Yet, the amount of soul in this release parallels the salacity, making SHANG TSUNG a refreshing antithesis to the hypersexual objectification which makes up a significant chunk of hip hop lyrics.
Opening with some seriously emotive koto-like strings before the beautiful female vocal kicks in, backed by some ephemeral sounds and those haunting picked string notes, ‘Suicidal Starlight’ is the opening track from Indiana-based producer-singer-songwriter Jiwhan Kim’s new EP ‘World’.
Trancey, Ambient, and otherworldly, ‘Suicidal Starlight’ is a beautiful track, spacy and relaxing yet uplifting and hopeful all at once. Kim aims to become a world-class producer and composer, and on the basis of ‘Suicidal Starlight’, and the rest of ‘World’, he’s on exactly the right trajectory.
You can hear ‘Suicidal Starlight’, and the rest of the ‘World’ EP, on Spotify. Check out Jiwhan Kim on Instagram.
A good grind is just as important in RnB Hip Hop as it is with coffee, as Samtrackz proves with their indulgent parable of a single ‘Coffee’.
The smooth blend of elements in the atmospherically layered single invigorates instead of allowing you to feel over-faced as you sit back and take in the aromatic notes, deep grooves and sonorous soul.
Discernibly, Samtrackz has taken coffee shop music to the next level. With the imagery they’re able to conjure in their sweetly sensual sound, you’ll find yourself thrown back to every cute coffee morning which you have burned in your memory when you hit play on Coffee.
You can check out Samtrackz’s latest single by heading over to YouTube.
Swiss-Norwegian artist and producer SENTO’s latest soul-instilled Alt Electronica single ‘Lay Back’ featuring TATONKA is a sublimely idyllic feat of aural ingenuity. With enough ambience within the mix to offer you a sense of catharsis and plenty of digitally-orchestrated Funk to keep your synapses firing, Lay Back easily transcends the notion of genre and becomes somewhat of a paradox. It’s a grooving dreamy slow burner and a bass-riding groove-riddled entrancing hit, all in one deftly produced package.
With SENTO’s tendency to weave everything from Funk to Hip Hop to Neo Soul into his tracks, it’s always worth delving into their eclectically inspired sound, and thankfully, there is plenty more in the pipeline.
You can check out SENTO’s latest single via Spotify.