Now Listening: Solange

Hey dudes and dudettes! I hope you like power house because oh man! Solange is killin’ it with her new album. A Seat at the Table was released a few weeks ago. Just like her older sister Beyoncé, Solange is a queen. She compiles R&B with soul and jazz to eloquently create an album worth talking about.

Solange has beautifully grown into herself as a woman and is shares her art in an exquisite way. A Seat at the Table is soft yet stern. Solange is empowered in her identity and independence. Rich, generous, and honest, this album is already a historical landmark for black cultural and social history.

A Seat at the Table documents the struggle of indignities of the current society in 2016. Artistic and emotionally rich, this album is open and radical. Solange does so all the while opening songs with rich piano solos and jazzy ensembles. Her R&B roots show through in a minimalist way. Beats, bass lines, synths, drowsy horns and trembling guitars, Solange pays tribute to the era and funk and soulful groove.

Impressive and provoking, Solange’s A Seat at the Table is a remarkable album full of power that is brutally honest and tender. It transcends space and time and will be a beautiful artifact from 2016 forever and ever.

Check out a few of the best tracks below. ❃

 

 

 

Melting away in the electropop of JONES

 

This fall should have fans of emotive electropop sitting on the edge of their seats in overwhelming anticipation for the release of JONES’ debut full-length, New Skin.

The styling of Cherie Jones’ moniker — a title inspired by her surname — is a proper visual introduction to the 26-year old singer-songwriter’s blended musical identity of both striking brilliance and simplicity. Raised on a bit of everything, JONES recalls hearing Bob Marley on her mother’s cassette player, and fanning out over pop idols like Britney Spears and the eminent Spice Girls. A fancy for electronica came along as JONES grew older, and it’s this very romance that has most perceptibly influenced the Londoner’s sound.

Although her voice is more honeyed than those of other soulful songstresses such as Jessie Ware or Lianne La Havas, JONES has no problem with poignancy. This was showcased last year on her four-song EP, Indulge, where pre-choruses like, “I’m in danger, but I savor the thrill of you,” prelude the smooth productions of clapping rhythms, synths and drum beats by Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, How to Dress Well) and A.K. Paul (Miguel, Nao).

But despite the EP’s success (its title track has over 1.5 million plays on SoundCloud and Spotify combined), there’s always room for evolution.

“I’ve been (writing) and recording for two years,” JONES said to Atwood Magazine earlier this month. “The sound is, I don’t know — there’s slower moments, there’s upbeat moments. It’s a really good range of who I am and what I want to say.”

These changing paces can be heard in singles from New Skin. “Hoops” is a lyrical admission of mania, and her most alternative-sounding tune to date. Softer-spoken releases include “Melt” and “Wild,” where combinations of gentle vocals and guitars elude to the likes of Corinne Bailey Rae.

And don’t worry — the album isn’t bloated. With a compact, twelve-song track list, listeners will be able to enjoy every blissful bit of JONES without feeling exhausted by the end.

New Skin is out October 7 on 37 Adventures. It can be preordered here.