Everything is so heightened right now, let these artists soothe you
Everything is especially chaotic right now.
Tensions are undoubtedly higher than ever in America, and to feel an emotion other than rage and frustration seems downright impossible. But even in these extreme moments, it pays to have if but a few moments of calm. While artists like Chief Keef and Pop Smoke continue to soundtrack the protests for Black Lives Matter taking place all over the world, the soothing baritone of Giveon can help take the edge off. While Run The Jewels 4 exhilarates the masses and raises blood pressure, the funk and jazz coalescence presented by Eryn Allen Kane and Kyle Dion instead put a smile on your face as you dance up to the picket line. Here are a slew of calming voices to help reinvigorate and inspire you to do your part.
Giveon - THE BEACH (acoustic) www.youtube.com
After contributing a haunting feature on Drake's "Chicago Freestyle," Long Beach crooner Giveon's new EP, TAKE TIME, is a masterclass in new age soul. One of the most captivating voices of the new year, Giveon's saturated baritone is unpredictable. It takes flight on "Favorite Mistake" as he warbles to his secret lover and captures the heartache and anxiety of living on the brink of danger on "The Beach." TAKE TIME is fluid and arresting and completely unpredictable.
Kyle Dion - Baby Esther | A COLORS SHOW www.youtube.com
One of the most captivating R&B underdogs of 2019, Kyle Dion's SUGA was a magnetic fusion of funk, R&B, and Prince-like psychedelic swagger. Dion's searing falsetto is tightly contorted and, as a result, absolutely irresistible. Each track on SUGA is dripping in lustful charisma, with Dion's voice in a league of its own. Dion's unique self-assurance will add a little pep in your step as you head to the picket line.
Shay Lia - Blue ft. KAYTRANADA, BadBadNotGood www.youtube.com
French-Djiboutian R&B songbird Shay Lia is best known for crafting infectious dance hits alongside Haitian-DJ KAYTRANADA, but her solo stuff is equally as captivating. 2019's Dangerous is a refreshing amalgamation of dance music and smoldering R&B, with her soft-spoken vocals utterly transporting. On "Blue," Lia is assisted by KAYTRANADA and BADBADNOTGOOD to craft a ghostly concoction on defeat that's as vibrant as the color itself. Meanwhile, offerings like "Voodoo" bounce along with effervescence, with Shay Lia's care-free confidence is contagious to anyone who listens.
Nao - Orbit | A COLORS SHOW www.youtube.com
One of the unique voices to emerge in the Electronic R&B landscape, Nao crafts electronica for young people consumed by the frustrations of being young. On 2018's fantastic Saturn, the London singer traverses melodic EDM and darkly lo-fi R&B with ease. She continually berates herself on the frustrations of being a young woman in the world and paints it as melodramatically as it feels in the moment. "House burnt down, burnt down to the f*cking ground," she says with conviction on the SiR-assisted "Make It Out Alive." "I don't even care now if I make it out." Who doesn't feel the same right now?
Leven Kali - Joy | A COLORS SHOW www.youtube.com
Cali-crooner Leven Kali is nothing but good vibes. At just 20-years-old the R&B pop singer possesses pop sensibilities beyond his years, his debut project, Low Tide, was abundant in summertime soul that traversed funk, pop, and disco. He presented an even tighter concoction HIGHTIDE this past month and has grown into one of the most promising R&B talents out of SoCal. Not to mention his voice is as silky as caramel. For those looking to smile rather than grimace, Leven Kali can all but ensure that.
Eryn Allen Kane
Eryn Allen Kane - fragile (Official Video) www.youtube.com
Eryn Allen Kane is an old-soul. Her 2019 project, a tree planted by water, is soaked in the jazz, R&B, and the funk soundscapes of her ancestors. Her voice is bubbly and incalculable and can traverse these landscapes as effectively as the crooners she emulates. She was all over Chance The Rapper's 2016 breakout Coloring Book and collaborated with Prince on a Freddie Gray tribute track, but she remains an underdog. For those looking to sob and feel something, let Kane's voice transport you as she ruminates on the human condition.