BLVK IRIS is an up-and-coming Danish electronic music artist and electronic producer and his debut single single “Put It On” is a sultry, slow-urning, Quiet Storm-inspired pop song featuring a sinuous bass line, shimmering and wobbling synths, an anthemic hook and the warm, interwoven male and female vocals of New York-based vocalists Janelle Kroll and Jeuru. And while being an incredibly sensual song with both vocalists expressing a yearning and urgent sexual desire and longing, the slickly produced, swaggering song also nods at 90s R&B and contemporary R&B simultaneously.
Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past 12-18 months or so, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts on one of this site’s newest mainstay acts, the Bay Area-based electro pop/electro R&B/electro soul act The Seshen. Comprised of founding members Lalin St. Juste (vocals) and Akiyoshi Ehara (bass, production) with Kasha Rockland (vocals), Mizra Kopelman (percussion) and Kumar Butler (sampler), the Bay Area-based act have received attention from this site and elsewhere for a sound that draws from a broad and eclectic array of influences including Erykah Badu, Jai Paul, James Blake, Radiohead, Broadcast, hip-hop, indie rock, electronica — with the result being a sound that managed to be simultaneously contemporary and retro-futuristic.
Over the past year, I wrote about the first three singles off the act’s sophomore full-length effort Flames & Figures — “Distant Heart,” a sleek and sensual, synth-based single that sounded as though it were influenced by 80s synth-based R&B and pop, “Already Gone,” a sultry and sensual track that subtly nodded at Giorgio Moroder, and “Colors Collide,” which managed to nod at 60s-inspired psych pop and rock rock, complete with a shifting and morphing song structure held together by a hazy vibe. The album’s latest single “Right Here” consisting of retro-futuristic-leaning production featuring cascading layers of synths, xylophone, subtly African percussion, a sinuous yet propulsive bass line and ambient synths within an expansive song structure featuring rapidly shifting key changes and mood and razor sharp hooks — and while there’s a lot going on within the song, there’s enough room for St. Juste’s sultry and coquettish vocals to dart and float about. But perhaps most important, the latest single should remind listeners that the Bay Area-based act specialize in balancing an accessible, pop sensibility with an uncompromisingly challenging songwriting approach and sound.
Comprised of Jillian Hervey (vocals) and Lucas Goodman, a.k.a. Astro Raw (production), the New York-based neo-soul/R&B duo Lion Babe received a growing national and international profile with the release of their full-length debut Begin, which featured the duo collaborating with Pharrell Williams and Childish Gambino, and standout, blogosphere dominating singles “Treat Me Like Fire” and their collaboration with the aforementioned Childish Gambino, “Jump Hi,” the Sun Joint Mixtape, the duo’s first headlining tour and a number of festival appearances — including at Glastonbury Festival.
The duo will be releasing a new EP sometime this spring and it’ll feature the duo’s latest single “Rockets,” a collaboration with Moe Moks that features the duo doing their thing over a swaggering yet minimalist, neo-soul production featuring what sound like twinkling vibraphone, tweeter and woofer rocking beats — that nods at Erykah Badu, Jill Scott but with a bracingly chilly, cosmic glow. And as the duo explained to the folks at Noisey, the song is about creating “good times in a crazy world.” Certainly, we could use some of that in our lives, eh?
Elijah Hook is a Berlin-based soul/pop artist, whose sound meshes elements of old-school soul, contemporary electronic production and R&B as you’ll hear on his latest Sugaboy-produced single “Lights 47” which pairs Hook’s ethereal crooning and Drake-like flow with hyper modern and atmospheric production featuring stuttering drum programming and malevolently swirling electronics in a song that reminds me quite a bit of Steven A. Clark‘s Fornication Under Consent of the King complete with a self-assured swagger.
Last month, I wrote about San Francisco Bay Area-based electro pop/electro R&B act The Seshen, an act comprised of Lalin St. Juste (vocals), Akiyoshi Ehara (bass, production), Kasha Rockland (vocals), Mirza Kopelman (percussion), Chris Thalmann (drums), Mahesh Rao (keys, synths), Mirza Kopelman (percussion) and Kumar Butler (sampler), that has received attention across the Bay Area and elsewhere for an aesthetic that draws from a diverse array of influences including Erykah Badu, Jai Paul, James Blake, Radiohead, Broadcast, hip-hop, indie rock, electronica and 70s dub to craft a sound that walks a tightrope between sounding remarkably contemporary and retro-futuristic. Interestingly enough, “Distant Heart,” the first single off the act’s soon-to-be released sophomore effort Flames and Figures reminded me quite a bit of the slickly produced, sleek synth-based R&B and pop of the early 80s.
“Already Gone” the second and latest single off Flames and Figures finds the act pairing St. Juste’s sultry and plaintive cooing with glitchy and stuttering drum programming, swirling ambient electronics and layers of cascading, shimmering synths, some reverberating industrial clang and clatter in the background and a sensual hook to craft a song that manages to feel both deliberately crafted and improvised — all while subtly nodding at Giorgio Moroder’s legendary and incredibly sexy productions.
With the release of her debut single “This Human Ache,” 23-year-old, Rhode Island-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and electro pop artist Elisa Coia has quickly received praise for a breezily atmospheric sound consisting of subtle layers of ethereal […]
Up-and-coming London-based vocalist and producer Rationale has quickly captured the attention of the blogosphere, as his debut track “Fast Lane” which was released last month received 450,000 plays and quickly climbed to the top of the […]
Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Steven A. Clark and a lengthy list of others represent a progressive movement in both Black music (if such a thing truly exists) and in pop/R&B as these artists and their […]
Comprised of producer Zachary Andrew (Black Light Dinner Party, High Highs) and vocalist, Richard Saunders, the New York-based duo of Refs have quickly won the attention of the blogosphere with the release of their debut […]
Bee Becx is a singer/songwriter who has started to gain attention for a sound that’s been described as “a subtle suggestive hint of R&B, Hip-Hop and Trip-Hop overtones laced with an experimental edge.” Interestingly, her latest […]