Flwr Chyld's Flow is a Soulful Study on Immersive Tranquility
Evan Dale // Aug 24, 2020
From the mellow mind of Atlanta producer, Flwr Chyld comes the easy listening EP the world at this moment – and at any moment, really – calls for: Flow. Such is a name as attached to the stylistically fluid aesthetic of Flwr Chyld as was its leading single, AuraBlu where sonic emotions surface and evolve with the ease of a keystroke, some synth play, and a revolving door of melodically lullabying vocalists. And yet, amongst its many featuring names, Flow is dictated by what is perhaps Flwr Chyld’s greatest strength: subsisting as the coalescing force necessary to tether all of his collaborators to his effervescent house of texturally transcendent balloons.
At Flow’s foundation, Flwr Chyld plays wildly with the kind of instrumental and productive prowess that no other modern composer can match with seeming ease. And on that foundation, a carefully curated collection of vocalists is provoked to perform at their most naturally emotive level. Amongst them, myriad stylistic lanes are represented, but beneath the underlining umbrella of Flwr Chyld’s floaty touch, they come to represent the antithesis of stylistic delineation altogether. Instead, they, he, and Flow at large transcend and ultimately exist in the sphere of soothing post genre.
Better defined by emotion and by a more human lack of one-lanedness, Flwr Chyld offers his most refined EP to date, introducing those who don’t yet know his name, and those that already do, to a producer the likes of which all of us could use a little – or a lot – more of. In many ways, his sound has always echoed the timelessness of R&B. Inspired by its boundless connection to all of modern music, and to the flourishing scene of his home city, Atlanta – though certainly dictated more by hip-hop and trap – Flwr Chyld is able to utilize the tenants of the 90’s and the now to invent an aesthetic altogether new. And he achieves it by also folding in other influences. Hip-hop, Neo-Soul, and Mellow Pop merge beneath the Atlanta producer as a cohesive amalgamation of inspirations inside and out of genre, city, and self.
And overtop those influences – above the fluid foundation of Flow’s baseline sound – vocalists far and wide, including Flwr Chyld himself on Moonlight – strike a similar chord. The sound achieved is one of compositional compromise. Each featuring name, most of which have worked with Flwr Chyld in the past – James Tillman, MIA GLADSTONE, Elujay, Swsh, Emmavie & Jada Nycole Ellise – flow through the project in line with form-fitting production. A master of his craft, Flwr Chyld hand picks his artists for specific sounds, having already established a creative collaboration or for the first time understanding how to pedestal the uniqueness of a new vocalist, for a mellow, emotive result.
And though each track – highlighted by each differing front name – boasts a unique identity, Flow is tied akin by an underline striving for unapologetic creative exploration led with sedative emotionality. Flow is dauntingly chill. It’s the kind of project that could play in the backdrop of a coffee shop just loud enough so you can’t hear the conversation a table over. It’s the kind of project that could soundtrack the rooftop sunsets of Summertime bar crawls. It’s the kind of project that still packs enough energy and more than enough daring experimentation to capture the listeners attention – or leave it subconsciously dwelling in bliss – depending on the situational application. But the relaxed fit of Flwr Chyld’s production is a parlor trick. It’s not nearly as easy as he makes it sound. For him it’s Flow; for anyone else attempting, it’s a faulty miss. Years of practice and an unteachable Zen orbiting his creative state, Flwr Chyld is the calming influence we need infiltrating the world of musical risk taking.
But he couldn’t achieve it without his friends.
When AuraBlu dropped earlier in 2020, it was obvious that whatever grander collection Flwr Chyld was working towards was always going to be tranquilly immersive. And now that Flow is here, it couldn’t be truer. By the same precedent set in motion by the bubbly silk of MIA GLADSTONE & Elujay on AuraBlu, Flow at large meanders from vocalist to vocalist without ever losing that same underlying definition. The powerful, soulful register of James Tillman testing its highs and lows on the titular opener – a track that also teaches some important lessons; the jazzy, striking pitch of Swsh juxtaposing the deep synth line of But I Tried; the understated chill of Flwr Chyld himself utilizing his voice as yet another wavy instrument.; the fierce, bouncy melody of MIA GLADSTONE intermissionarily bringing brevity to the EP with Morning Dew; soulstress, Emmavie delicately weaving in and out of keys on Walking Away; and the Badu-esque funk of Jada Nycole Ellise sporting Flow’s outro. Each and every inclusionary name on the EP’s track list is expertly curated by Flwr Chyld; each and every voice also utilized as an instrument in its own right.
And that’s the true genius behind Flow and Flwr Chyld at large. Everything he does, he gets the most out of, and everything he does, he does with immersive, emotional calm. For that, Flow is one of the most inventive, dynamic projects of 2020, speaking boldly and optimistically about more from the Atlanta transcendentalist in the near future.