A haunting vocal trembles through my headphones filled with hints of sorrow and heart. The confessional lyrics are sung by the up and coming Nao, an artist who’s sombre and nasal voice ushers her listeners into a world of textured sounds and the ever-challenging topic of love. Those artists you know have something special, yet have not hit it big just yet… that’s the sound of Nao, and that’s why you should start listening.
Love songs are embedded in Western culture. We all understand love, we all yearn for it and we all analyze its effects. “Every song you hear [on the record] is a love song, but every song in this world is a love song. What’s not a love song?” Asked Jesse Boykins III, as we discussed his new album Love Apparatus.
R&B is an ever-expanding and changing genre, especially in 2012… if you’re a man. Frank Ocean, Migeul, and The Weeknd all rose to higher notoriety and famethanks, in part, to their minimalist beats and crisp falsettos. They brought fresh sounds and perspectives and reinvigorated the likes of Usher, with “Climax” being a direct result of the Weeknd and Drake.
Stevie Wonder’s 1973 album Innervisions is one of his many masterpieces from an extensive and impressive collection. Funk, Pop, and R&B all take turns at center stage. Michael Jackson and Prince both have Stevie Wonder to thank as a clear inspiration. To this day almost any artist in r&b will reference Stevie Wonder as an influence.
AlunaGeorge offers us a glimpse of an art gallery where the most mesmerizing art are the dancing onlookers, and of course AlunaGeorge’s atmospheric and lush R&B. photo credit