Detroit based duo Gifted Balance have released ‘Middle of the Night’ – a late-night neo-R&B track.
Eerie but melodically lush, ‘Middle of the Night’ diverges from an initially glitched out introduction to carving right into a ping-ponging vocal line. It’s a polished track, and it glides pretty organically from sombre, lo-fi tones to triumphantly pleasant twinkles and starlit pads – all in a sort of luxury car suspension thanks to the soft texturing and engineering throughout.
‘Middle of the Night’ feels right for the kind of late night asphalt you want to be spinning this track to and there’s some real weight to be had behind this listen. Definitely recommended for any hazy playlists that could do with a bit more ambience and soul behind the curtain.
In The Neighbourhood comes on like a modern day version of a lost song from Marvin Gaye’s classic What’s Going On, the same subtle blend of smooth soul and restrained funk, confident vocals and percolating keyboard swirls. Whereas Gaye had a lot to get off his chest, Blake seems more content with his lot, but ultimately like Gaye’s writing at the time of that classic album, In The Neighbourhood is very much a love song, a song of solidarity, community and togetherness.
Blake is a master of threading smokey late night vibes through smooth musical landscapes, it is both effortlessly groovesome and wonderfully life affirming, it is heartfelt and reflective with just a hint of world weary resignation asking “when is it going to get easier?” As a single it is a fantastic calling card for Edward Blake and his ability to create sweet and soulful music, just imagine what a whole album might sound like? Luckily you don’t have to imagine just pick up a copy of Togetherness Triumphant for the answer.
DEA is a young singer songwriter with a very particular sound. With inspirations of R&B and Neo Soul in combination with descriptive thought-out lyrics and some hints of electronic sounds in the arrangement, “You” is a new track which can be potentially hypnotic to whoever listens to it. With natural sporadic guitar phrases that contour the structure, as well as a contrasting deep underlying pulse, this song features a delicate balance of high and low sonorities. It is also interesting to note how subtle the use of the trap style rhythm is. Used carefully to accentuate specific sections and sounding almost in the background, this gives the song indeed a hauntingly hypnotic quality.
Apart from an interesting instrumental arrangement this song definitely has more to offer. DEA’s vocal shines bright above the instrumentation and delivers vocal tone variations and fluctuations throughout the song, showcasing her R&B influences particularly in the chorus. With luscious harmonies and shapely melodies that glide between a variety of pitches and colours, this new voice has a lot to offer and the song “You” is definitely proving all this to be true.