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2021 : Week Seven
K. Forest Speaks to the Brokenhearted this Valentine’s Season with ‘Summer We Never Had’
Evan Dale | Feb 12, 2021
Atmospheric Toronto R&B crooner, K. Forest is one of the most uniquely delineated vocalists in the game. His range – from hip-hop adjacent, bass heavy party anthems (Link) to romantic ballads (ONS) can bridge a further gap than just about any other artist in music today. And with newest single, Summer We Never Had, he’s going with the latter. Riding the rails of a mellow, echoey, synth laden beat that alone pulls a whole lot of heartbroken emotion into focus, K. Forest’s silky signature only reinforces the genius emotionality that began keystrokes seemingly pulled from somewhere underwater.
Summer We Never Had speaks to the silence and loneliness of both the Winter and the current isolationist state of the world, and for K. Forest, who has long explored his voice, his words, and the production behind it all towards every corner of his creative span, it’s one of his best for any fan of R&B or anyone struggling through a lackluster Valentine’s season.
Syd Returns with Hi-Fi yet Understated Ballad, ‘Missing Out’
Evan Dale | Feb 12, 2021
Syd’s voice is irreplicable. Her silky yet powerful register is as dynamic and emotionally evocative as they come, oftentimes ringing clear with her poetic words, other times spilling of muddled melody to find a poignant kind of auditory impressionism. Such is the power of her spacey, sultry R&B, and new single, Missing Out puts it all on display. The mysterious soulstress’s first single of the year – and really her first solo single in some time – Missing Out lives up to its enigmatic creator’s vivacious approach to unique Neo-Soul.
Over the carousel of otherworldly key riffs, her understatedly smooth vocalism juxtaposes the hi-fi cyber production of the backdrop to curate a wavering series of emotional responses that call to mind the best of drunken evenings during the peak of now failed relationships. If you’re not listening to the new Syd and hoping more is on the way, you’re Missing Out.
If You Don’t Know Serious Klein, Now is the Time to Get ‘Down’
Evan Dale | Feb 12, 2021
Serious Klein is back and more serious than ever. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, then dive into the German rapper by way of Ghana whose canon bleeds of a dynamic middle ground between hard-nosed raps and mellow, cooling vocalism. Last week he granted the world Straight Outta Pandemic – a melodic, poignant, self-celebratory graduation ballad when such things are not quite as celebrated as they used to be. And with newest single, Down, he’s continuing his addicting, mellow, and melodic dynamism.
The single is short – coming in at just over two minutes. But, built on a bouncy beat that would likewise find itself at home beneath the fun-loving aesthetic of any number of rappers from Tobi Lou to Clairmont The Second, Serious Klein is able to put on display the breadth of his addicting effortlessness when it comes to floating in and out of raps and melody for a calm, cool, and sexy single.
JVCK JAMES Blooms with Emotion as New Single Evokes ‘No Drama’
Evan Dale | Feb 13, 2021
With his first single of 2021, the UK prince of R&B, JVCK JAMES is again putting on a clinic of balance between his deeply layered a complex production and his forceful, evocative vocals that effortlessly cut right through the keys and the bass so commonly drawing the foundation of his music. No Drama is a blooming reemergence for the young vocalist whose 2019 debut project, DETOUR, was followed with a brace of singles to quench the thirst of his audience in 2020.
Following the emotional spectrum of his entire career, No Drama is another mellow and moody R&B ballad worthy of everything from a night out to the night back at your place. And per usual, that’s always the applicational genius of JVCK JAMES’s every single, always making waves far beyond the UK, and deep into the heart of R&B’s next generation.
Brent Faiyaz Takes his Voice to a Higher Power with ‘Eden’
Evan Dale | Feb 16, 2021
From Brent Faiyaz, there are some expectations that come in tow: a crystalline voice, an affinity for instrumental foundations, and a whole lot of sultry X-Rated material. But with his latest single, he’s leaving the latter in the dust for a higher purpose. Eden is a pure (by every meaning of the word) exhibition of what Brent Faiyaz has to offer. And what that is, is one of the most dynamic, rangy voices in R&B history.
Faiyaz has always been a mysterious force to be reckoned with. 2020’s Fuck The World was one of the most standout and ultimately unique albums to come out in recent memory. And with earlier 2021 collaboration with Tyler The Creator, Gravity, Eden stands as a calm, mellow, and meditative bookend juxtaposing his oft-raunchy and always beautiful offerings.