Indie RnB crooner bhxlu laid the laidback soul on thick in his latest single, Wild, which hit the airwaves on April 7th. The East London-hailing artist carries a fair amount of the dead innovative weight dropped by the rest of the contemporary RnB artists in the game with his fluidly smooth hit that pulls alt-pop, drill and trap tendencies into the colourfully sultry grooves.
With his tendency to mix dark themes with light instruments, you will always tune into a raw and real sonic rendezvous when immersing yourself in bhxlu’s innovation. Taking inspiration from Bryson Tiller, Chris Brown and The Weeknd could have resulted in an assimilated sound, but few artists hit the autonomous mark as distinctively as bhxlu, who never shies away from narrating toxic dynamics that are disturbingly rife in contemporary culture.
After finding success as a touring musician, Dario Mihic set out to swathe the airwaves with his devilishly slick soul as one-half of the brother duo onemind. With the indie RnB single meditation, he and his brother Martin discernibly succeeded.
As the celestial vocal timbre wraps itself around the romanticism in the lyrics, the gentle mellifluous guitar notes that ethereally reminisce on the instrumental hooks in Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me a River amplify the accordance even further. The downtempo hit spills alchemic chemistry as it works through the poised progressions, setting ample anticipation over what fresh soulful innovation will pour from onemind in the future. Save a place on your radar.
Meditation was officially released on January 31st. Hear it on Spotify.
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 DMK, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Cambridge, UK-hailing singer-songwriter and producer L’Rockett has pushed the envelope of RnB by writing his antithesis of a love letter, Ain’t My Love Story.
Fully owning up to the recklessly dumb assumptions that spring to mind every time someone causes our hearts to skip a beat, the RnB pioneer ripped up all of the fantastical tropes and refused to sell even more unrealistic romantic expectations to his listeners. In his track which melds elements of synth wave, alt-pop and neo-soul into the instrumentals that cradle his vulnerably inviting vocals, L’Rockett stands by his word of taking you to places you’ve never been before.
After making his debut, the exceptionally promising artist has been on heavy rotation on BBC Introducing, with his music being selected for ‘Track of the Day’. Perceptibly, the best is yet to come for the up-and-coming artist as he continues to say the unspoken and breaks boundaries with his sultry electro-pop RnB flavour.
Ain’t My Love Story is now available to stream on Spotify.
Indie RnB pop sensation, Lia J, oozed sophistication in the jazz-tinged melodies of her latest single, Chardonnay, which melancholically reflects on how a shift in dynamic can sour the sweetest of memories.
The soft bluesy instrumental layers cushion the blow of the bruisingly honest accounts of her new-found loneliness in the wake of heartbreak. We’ve all been there, bravely attempting to figure out how to find new meaning in our surrounds when all we can feel is the ghost of our former selves.
There’s a beautiful idea that we don’t really miss people; we miss the person we were with that person. Chardonnay reflects that sentiment with overwhelming soul. But even if Lia J was singing her shopping list, the effortless class in her semi-vibrato vocals would awaken your senses with the invigorating stir of her vocal timbre.
South-Carolina-born Indie RnB singer-songwriter Jessica Nicole Brown gave us a soulful insight into her reprising torment in her latest single, The Devil’s Favorite, featuring Brian Brown.
The melodiously euphonic single normalises the routine of negative thoughts and actions in a profoundly honest way. All too often those who err on the side of pessimism use it as another reason to reprimand themselves. But this playfully up-vibe protest to existentialism and all of its pitfalls subversively switches the narrative.
Jessica Nicole Brown is evidently an Indie RnB pop dream come true, and her decision to bring the smooth vocal timbre of Brian Brown into the soundscape that exudes Nelly Furtado in her prime vibes was a stroke of genius. The affable chemistry is one of the best aural highs we’ve experienced in 2022.
The Devil’s Favorite will officially drop on September 14th. Catch it on SoundCloud.
Taking a brief reprieve from composing for video games and media, the singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist J. Jeaux released his debut single, More Than Enough, in June 2022.
Exhibiting his world-building melodies, sweetened R&B vocal lines and songwriting tenacity, More Than Enough rewrites the R&B rules through the warm analogue atmosphere & cuttingly contemporary resonance.
Few breaking artists excel in bringing RnB into this era without assimilation, but the Mexico City-based artist is so much more than your average Frank Ocean carbon copy with his blissful command over rhythm. Even with the tinges of sorrowful sentimentality, More Than Enough is a touch of serenity in our chaos-encompassing times.
More Than Enough is now available to stream on Spotify.