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rnb

Music

SMA – Shades: Rhythmically Resonant R&B

While I’ve listened to my fair share of R&B tracks this year, it’s safe to say I haven’t stumbled across a sound as distinctive in the genre as SMA created with his fiery downtempo mix “Shades”.

“Shades” was just one of the singles to feature on the American recording artist’s latest EP “Black Emoji”, and whilst he’s created plenty of other fluidly hypnotic beats since the EP’s release in 2017, the soundscape is the perfect introduction to his command of melody entwined with his prodigal flavour.

The beat which was produced by Penacho carries a slightly Lo Fi tonality with plenty of depth in the layers of digital effect to keep the Trap style arrangement atmospheric. Whilst SMA’s vocal style is drenched in melancholy, his flow is still charismatically arresting. Once you’re snared by the first lyrical hook, there’s no letting go until the smooth progression of Shades fades to a close.

You can check out SMA’s single Shades for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Kirk Richmond – Flowers on the Grave: Resonantly Bitter-Sweet R&B

“Flowers on the Grave” is the latest single from up and coming EDM R&B artist Kirk Richmond. Whilst it’s not often that R&B singles sound like they belong in this decade, Kirk Richmond’s approach with EDM glitchy beats over a Jazz melody is pretty much as fresh as it gets. And it’s by no amount of exaggeration that I’m describing the lyrics to the single as devastatingly poignant. There’s a raw, honest sense of humility behind the lyricism which gives you a sense of connection to the artist. To round off the track; haunting piano keys take care of the outro, making Flowers on the Grave one of the most hard-hitting R&B tracks I’ve checked out recently.

You can check out the official video to Kirk Richmond’s latest single for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

New Music from Right Brain: The Prodigal Son of R&B Returns with his latest single “Colder”

At the age of 17, the up and coming self-produced R&B artist Right Brain already has a tangible amount of maturity behind his perfectly polished beats. His soulfully rich compositions transcend the superficiality of most “good-vibe” music on the soundwaves at the moment thanks to the perceptible amount of passion and ingenuity he injects into every mix.

“Colder” is the fifth single to be released by the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and music engineer. And it’s the 5th reason he’s given fans of R&B to fall in love with his smooth approach to the genre, whilst there is almost a Dark Wave resonance behind the beat, there’s still plenty of melody to get caught up within. With over 60k+ streams already under his belt, it’s safe to say the future looks promising for Right Brain.

You can check out Right Brain’s latest single Colder for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Mona Disa – Mouse Trap: Contemporary Trap with an R&B Twist

“Mouse Trap” is just one of the singles from up and coming Trap artist Mona Disa’s latest album “YELLOW”. Whilst you may not hear much from female Trap artists, it’s clear that Mona Disa has the attitude-driven prowess and unflinching vocal capacity to leave her male counterparts audibly quaking.

The meter and rhyme behind the New York-based artist’s succinct and sultry rap flow is bordering on spoken-word poetry, each line is bitingly sharp. And no, I didn’t fail to spot the irony in finding the hooks in a track titled “Mouse Trap” snaring. Whilst there were some intricate kicks and snares from the 808’s in traditional Trap style, the rhythm behind the beat was pure R&B.

You can check out Mona Disa’s latest single Mouse Trap for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud. With an infectiously catchy chorus which is bordering on hypnotic, I can guarantee that it won’t be long before you give the unforgettable single a replay.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Adrian Javon – “All Bad”: The R&B Soul Track Which Definitely Isn’t What It Says on the Tin.

“All Bad” is one of the latest singles to be released by up and coming R&B Soul artist Adrian Javon. With his release the LA-based artist opted for a sultrily rhythmic tonality which was matched by the transient reverb which spilled from the intricate digital arrangements of the track. Whilst many R&B artists may be still attempting the old 90’s style, Adrian Javon stamped down his authentic style with All Bad which is just one of the tracks from his EP “Never Really Here”. And surprisingly, for a track which tells you that “it’s all bad” the overall tone of the track is relatively upbeat, infinitely resonant and as easy as breathing to slip into. With a radio-ready finish with the production, it’s impossible to find fault with Adrian’s stylish approach to his sound.

You can check out Adrian Javon’s latest single All Bad for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Talia Perez – Lights So Bright ft. Sunlit Souls: Stripped-Back Sonorously Light R&B Soul

Talia Perez has returned with her fourth single “Lights So Bright” featuring Sunlit Souls who contribute to the overwhelming layers of harmony in the acoustically sonorous R&B Soul mix. Whilst I’m in no way averse to an electronically produced R&B beat, hearing the way the rhythm of the acoustic guitar and bass creates such a warm tonality in Lights So Bright spills even more soul into the melodic track. Listening to Talia Perez’s earlier sounds it’s clear that while she clearly has command over style in the EDM and Pop genres, yet, her previous tracks failed to do justice for her evocatively smooth vocal style.

Whether she chooses to keep on going down the stripped-back acoustic route or return to her former style, I have no doubt that commercial success will be on the cards for Talia.

You can check out Talia Perez’s latest single Lights So Bright for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Ana Stasia – Shade: R&B Neo-Soul for the Soul

Alongside the shade that Ana Stasia’s throwing in her latest single, there’s also a smorgasbord of soul, jazzy rhythm and unflinchingly strong Neo-Soul vocals. “Shade” is the perfect introduction to the up and coming artist’s captivatingly sultry style which incorporates elements of R&B and Pop to create a refreshingly soul-driven soundscape.

The Los Angeles-based artist takes inspiration from the likes of Beyoncé, Adele, Marian Hill and Fifth Harmony to produce refreshingly up-vibe mixes which come to life through a tight trap beat and the acoustic grooves set by the bass, electric guitar and brass. Whilst at some points it felt as though the lyrics only served to add to the melody, Shade is still a stellar track for any R&B Pop fans looking for a fresh approach to the genre to add to their playlists.

You can check out the official music video to Ana Stasia’s latest single which was released on October 23rd by heading over to YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Ryan Ramirez’s Sultrily Rhythmic Latest Single “She Can Get It” ft. lil bahwuh

Of all the up and coming R&B artists I’ve checked out recently, there are very few which possess the same amount of charisma as Ryan Ramirez. With his latest track “She Can Get It” he created a steady, sultry rhythm which will be accessible to people who don’t even have a particular penchant for the genre. The Pop style production of the multi-layered gave the sound a radio-ready seamless finish. Against the kicks of the 808 beats you’re also treated to acoustic layers to ensure the melody is on point to draw you into the urban allure of the track. Whilst the collaboration with lil bahwuh added yet another interesting dynamic to Ryan Ramirez’s sound it was easy to feel that his rap verses didn’t quite match the standard of Ramirez’s crooning Trap style.

You can check out the official video to Ryan Ramirez’s latest track which was released October 17th for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Sam Least – Postmaster: A Debut of R&B-Infused Trap

“Postmaster” is the first single released from up and coming Hip Hop artist Sam Least. Whilst some artists may use their first release to test the water, it’s safe to say with Sam Least has already found his feet in the sea which is polluted with mumble rap artists. With his R&B-infused Trap approach, he gets the smooth rhythmic flow, whilst packing a punch through the kicks and snares of the 808’s.

Sam Least’s unique approach to Trap-driven Hip Hop also carries an almost overwhelming amount of melody which makes it all too easy to kick back into the sound and enjoy the lyrics. Whilst the vocals may have had a touch too much reverb effect on them it’s easy to see that Sam Least is still serving fresh Hip Hop with his pioneering style and more than deserves three minutes of your time.

You can check out Sam Least’s debut single Postmaster for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Little Grace – My Bed: Intricately Resonant Northwest R&B

Whilst many artists born out of Liverpool, UK take their aural inspiration from the Psychedelic icons the Beatles, the R&B Trio Little Grace searched a little deeper and further afield for inspiration for their latest single “My Bed”.

Their third single drew inspiration from Tracey Emin’s infamously sobering art installation whilst also exploring themes surrounding mental health. So, it should come as no surprise that My Bed made for a sonorous listening experience. Yet, with the heavy weight of the lyricism sitting against the high-vibe beat and the soulfully smooth vocal delivery, the ultimate effect of my Bed was nothing short of anthemically visceral.

Instead of reviving the tired old R&B sound Little Grace added a resoundingly intricate amount of digital effect into their multi-layered beat with plenty of dubbed over bass to stand as the backbone of the mix. And there really is no over-selling the sound when it comes to the production.  It’s no wonder they’re making waves and collaborating with notorious producers in the Northern R&B scene.

You can check out Little Grace’s latest single for yourselves by heading over to iTunes now, a percentage of all sales will go towards Calm; a charity which helps to remove mental health stigma and offers support to those affected.

Keep up to date with their latest releases, head over to their Facebook page.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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