Browsing Tag

Indie RnB

Top supermodel Alana Monteiro brought style to the airwaves with her RnB meets dream-pop hit, Miss No More

Fuse wavy indie dream pop with swathes of contemporary appeal and Lynchian sonic cinematography, bed the synthesis into RnB roots, and you will be left with a hypnotic elixir which pours as deliciously as Alana Monteiro’s single, Miss No More.

The single unravels through the juxtaposition of lyrical vulnerability and the strident reclamation of power following a disempowering relationship that turned sour. The timbres in the track may run smooth, but there’s no putting out the fire Alana Monteiro started with her velvety luxe vocal lines that harness all the rage that is left in the ashes of a relationship that will never allow you to live up to your worth.

It’s a stunning release from the multi-faceted powerhouse of talent; when Alana Monteiro isn’t in the studio, she’s making waves in the fashion industry as a top supermodel who has made her way into the ranks of the top 100 black female models and acting in Emmy-award-winning films. Miss No More is definitive proof that her beauty is more than skin deep; it oozes from her soul into the lush production.

Stream the official lyric video for Miss No More which is slick with Burn Book-esque aesthetics and premiered on March 13 on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Toy Taha – Thrill is Gone: A Fiery Requiem for Lost Love

Following up on her debut LP, EIGHT, the Philadelphia native, Toy Taha confidently veered off RnB’s beaten track with her latest single, Thrill is Gone.

Instrumentally, the moody jazzy foray is reminiscent of what might happen if the Arctic Monkeys took a detour through the heart of RnB territory; the instrumentals melodiously flow, blending genres tied together by a luxe 90s twist, setting a stage for Taha’s voice to explore the emotional aftermath of a fleeting romance.

Taha’s vocal lines weave through the complexities of quick-to-burn passion and being left with the aftermath of deception. Her voice, cultivated from a rich tapestry of influences ranging from Shirley Murdoch to Whitney Houston, scathes with a raw intensity, smouldering with unresolved passion.

Thrill is Gone is a testament to her candid lyrical approach, she navigates the intricate dynamics of love and loss with a narrative depth that’s as compelling as it is relatable, resulting in a fully stylised emotional outpour that anyone in the same position can source catharsis from.

Thrill is Gone was officially released on February 23rd, check it out on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Parker Kay – The Grey: a refreshingly intimate RnB exposition of affection in the age of the iPhone

If artists got to the top of the charts based on the relatability of their lyrics alone, Vancouver’s Parker Kay’s latest single, The Grey, would have shot right to the top of the RnB charts. In a genre that gives Hollywood a run for its money when it comes to setting unrealistic expectations, this definitively modern love story is a refreshingly intimate exposition of affection in the age of the iPhone and awareness of idiosyncratic attachment styles.

Starting with a confession of how he pretends not to light up just as much as his screen when seeing a message and bides his time to give the illusion he’s busy, you can’t help but lyrically lock into the hit as the indie RnB grooves pop in the instrumental arrangement.

The single only becomes more addictive from there on out as Parker Kay bares his romantic scars over the synthesis of electronic synthetics, trap beats, pop hooks, RnB melodies, and soulfully magnetic vocal lines that keep an even-keel while the lyricism drifts from the ache of agony to the dream-like state of infatuation.

The Grey has a fair way to go before it racks up as many streams as Parker Kay’s viral hit, sorry, I like you too, which was created in collaboration with Burbank and garnered over 5 million streams on Spotify alone, but it is more than worthy.

The Grey was officially released on January 26th. Stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Indie RnB Meets Jazzy Neo-Pop in JOSÉ’s debut single, In Love With You

JOSÉ wore his diehard romantic heart on his indie RnB meets jazzy neo-pop melodies in his debut release, In Love With You, which makes no bones about flooding the melodiously succinct score with the hazy hues of affection and proclamations of unbridled passion.

The hit that boasts swathes of cross-over appeal wouldn’t be out of place on a prom dancefloor, a Hollywood OST score, or your easy-listening playlists. As soon as you hit play, the lush layers of reverb which swell around the seductive instrumentals and hushed-with-luxe-style harmonies envelop you in a dream-like atmosphere, which you’ll want to revisit time after time for the way the head-over-heels aesthetics remind you that there’s no other drug like love.

It’s an incredibly strong debut for the Chicago-born and raised singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. With the promise of more releases in the pipeline, we can’t wait to hear the next installation of soulful candour from JOSÉ.

In Love With You was officially released on February 2nd; stream the single on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Abeni embarked on a soulful journey between past and present with her seminal single, Better Days

Abeni tapped into the collective distaste for the present through the heartfelt expression in her single, Better Days, from the debut EP, Lesson Learned. The track is a poignant narrative that encapsulates the essence of nostalgia, introspection, and the deeply human tendency to yearn for days gone by.

Abeni, whose journey from a shy, music-averse child to a multifaceted artist, infuses Better Days with a depth that is both personal and universally relatable. The song is a lament on the present, a reflection of fear towards an uncertain future, and a longing to recapture the bliss of the past.

Sonically, Better Days is a masterful blend of genres. Abeni’s background, spanning from classical to jazz and pop, is evident in the way she weaves these influences into a soulful tapestry. The track is underpinned by grooves reminiscent of 90s R&B, yet it feels utterly contemporary. Her voice, rich and emotive, acts as a guiding light through the layers of sound, ensuring that the listener feels every ounce of the song’s emotional weight.

The song traverses the personal and the universal, touching on the collective desire to find solace in the past as we navigate an often-tumultuous present. It’s a testament to her skill as a songwriter and her sensitivity as an artist.

Abeni Mason-Draffen is not just a singer; she’s a storyteller, and her stories need to be heard. As she continues on her musical journey, one thing is certain: the future is bright for this talented artist.

Stream Abeni’s debut EP on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Self-reflection transcended passion in FATEFROMMARS’ experimental RnB single, I DO CARE

The up-and-coming NYC-residing artist FATEFROMMARS averted all the cliché RnB tropes in the standout single, I DO CARE, taken from her debut album, HIATUS, by prioritising self-compassion over passion and favouring self-care over seduction.

I DO CARE invites you to gaze into the intimacy of the singer-songwriter’s candour-fuelled introspection by providing an exposition into how powerful it is to focus on your growth instead of depending on ephemeral love stories to fill the void and become your sole narrative.

With a kicking beat and sultry smooth indie RnB instrumentals that break into reverb-drenched soul rock riffs mellifluously flowing beneath her velveteen vocal lines, I DO CARE is the perfect track to kick back to and remind yourself that avoidance is sometimes a necessary detour on your path to healing.

By giving her experimentalism ample earworm appeal and never shying away from versing on the negatives to inspire authentic growth, FATEFROMMARS became the most seminal new RnB artist of 2023. If I could entrust one artist with the future of the genre, I wouldn’t think twice about handing the evolution over to her.

The debut LP dropped on August 31; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Move Over Eilish, Rallen is Reigning Supreme as the Ultimate Bad Guy in His New RnB Hit, Berserk

Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Rallen caressed the roots of RnB with the dreamily nostalgic melodicism in his latest single, Berserk.

Much like the rest of his discography, the short and salaciously sweet release gives an intimate view into his psyche around the soaring sax notes and 80s-esque synth lines. The contrast between his candour and honeyed harmonies gives the release an oceanic depth as he attests to choosing pleasure over peace and professes to be anything but the perfect romantic protagonist.

If any single proves that we’re all just tormented people trying to get by, using sexual currency to find our worth, it is Berserk. Rallen’s commitment to sonically visualising his experience of adversity and affliction has established him as one of the most authentic acts on the RnB scene. It is only a matter of time before he reigns as supreme as the Weeknd.

Berserk was officially released on July 14th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Fatmowf created an odyssey of romantically die-hard soul-pop fantasy with ‘Imaginary Lover’

Get lost in the romantically die-hard soul-pop odyssey, Imaginary Lover, from the up-and-coming San Diego artist Fatmowf, who established himself as a rap artist before wearing his heart on his hazy RnB vocal lines in this pastel-hued daydream of a release.

Just as we constructed imaginary friends in childhood, who helped us to feel more assured and connected in an alienating world, the tendency to create idealised romantic relationships as our needs become more amorous is more prevalent than we acknowledge.

Who can truly say that the mere idea of someone has never created an obsessive tailspin that becomes all-consuming as a perfect future is depicted while the other person is completely unaware that they’re the co-creator of your sticky-sweet fantasies that will never materialise?

We’ve all been there, and we’ve all dealt with the subsequent disappointment when we note the disparity between idealism and realism. Fatmowf is just in the minority of people willing to admit it. The breezy indie R&B euphonic melodicism of the track is just the added bonus to his vulnerably magnetic candour. Ironically, we are now obsessed.

In his own words:

“I made the song after I met this girl at Starbucks. I got her phone number and started daydreaming about her…. a lot. Probably way too fucking much to be honest. But I did. And the crazy part was I barely even knew her! I knew her name, what she did for work (obviously) and the fact that she likes cats. She could have been a serial killer for all I knew but I was so attracted to her. Wrong, I was attracted to the idea of her, and the person I wanted her to be…”

Check out the official video for Imaginary Lover, which premiered on July 7th on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Bomb Voyage has debuted his compassionately choral RnB dream pop serenade, Serenity

With melodically intricate indie guitars and synths that wouldn’t be out of place in a Cigarettes After Sex single, Bomb Voyage created a hazily dreamy atmosphere for his classic RnB vocals to soak into in his latest single, Serenity.

Hedonistic and self-destructive behaviour may have been normalised to the point it has been glamorised in contemporary culture; instead of contributing to the acceptability of the toxicity of the trend, Bomb Voyage orchestrated a moody yet compassionate ballad to pay an ode to a female protagonist who has a proclivity towards excess.

Rather than painting a monster, Bomb Voyage used their lyrical empathy and beckoningly magnetic vocal lines to create a consoling release for anyone who needs the affirmation that even the most wayward souls deserve to be seen beyond their lifestyles.

Serenity is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Deandre Sevon reached the pinnacle of sensuality with his innovative take on RnB in Does That Feel Good

It was about time a new wave of RnB crashed in; it came as a courtesy of the diaphanously artful debut single, Does That Feel Good, from the luminary Miami-based singer-songwriter and producer, Deandre Sevon, who honed his silkily honeyed vocal lines on Broadway.

With experimental electronica motifs that wouldn’t be out of place in an ELO record weaved into the ambiently exhilarant single that features sensuously reverb-swathed synths and vox that put the soul in romantic uncertainty, Sevon became one of the promising conduits of soul in 2023.

Around the delicate keys and lush synths are moody tones which reflect the weight of what is at stake in the sweetest ‘win you back’ record, allowing Does That Feel Good to resonate as an emotionally matured and well-rounded masterpiece of vulnerability.

Deandre Sevon clearly has a bright career ahead of him. We can’t wait to hear what is lingering in the pipeline from the artist who has exactly what it takes to smash through the monotonous mould many RnB artists are too afraid to break through and sonically step into their own.

Does That Feel Good was officially released on June 9th. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast