Art is a form of self-expression that requires consistency and patience to perfect. LA based singer/songwriter Roy Blair took his time in creating and releasing his debut project, “Cat Heaven.” Set to release in the summer of 2017, Blair admits the final product’s quality was not up to par with his expectations, ultimately postponing its release. The artistic decision to push back the date was met with recognition and praise, as this project feels personal and nearly perfect.
Roy first hit the scene in 2016 alongside alternative rap boyband BROCKHAMPTON and even provided backup vocals for Kevin Abstract’s solo project “American Boyfriend.” That same year he released his first single “Thunder.” Opening up with mellow vocals and guitar strums, the track crescendos into an emotive and vibrant final production. Produced by BROCKHAMPTON’s Joba and Bearface, “Thunder” depicts the struggles of a teen transitioning into adulthood which sets the tone for the rest of the album.
“Cat Heaven,” released in December 2017, takes an indie-pop approach with a tinge of RnB. He bounces back and forth from his angelic vocal abilities to his upbeat rap delivery. Standout tracks like “Alex,” “Grow Up,” “Switchblade” and “Kansas” show off Roy’s honest lyricism and top-notch production quality through creative vocal effects and samples.
Roy proves he has artistic potential but there is always room for improvement. From the lyrics to the sampled beats, songs such as “Jane,” “Grand Theft Auto” and “California” feel awkwardly delivered. They lack the catchiness and ear-wormy sounds heard in “Thunder” and “Kansas.” They are decent songs but not my cup of tea – a cup I cannot even finish.
New to the scene, Roy Blair has the bold creativity and talent to make it in the industry. With his strong ties to BROCKHAMPTON and other producers, Blair is an underrated artist who deserves more recognition for his work. “Cat Heaven” is a stunning effort from 2017 and I regret not listening to him sooner. His lo-fi style with RnB influences bears a similar sound to those of Rex Orange County and Yeek, yet maintains its originality. I am a big fan and am excited to see his future projects.
Favorites: Grow Up, Alex, Happy, Thunder, Kansas
Least Favorite: Jane, Grand Theft Auto, California
Featured Image from Pinterest.