A Hidden Gem: Saint Heron

December 28th, 2013


Occasionally great albums go unnoticed and are missed for some reason, I have just discovered one of the best albums I’ve heard all year which was released last month but seems to have been widely overlooked- ‘Saint Heron.‘ It’s a compilation album released by Solange Knowle’s label; Saint Records and features 11 independent artists including Solange herself, Sampha, Cassie and Jhene Aiko.

This is no ordinary compilation, it is organic RnB; soulful and eclectic, every track is unique in style yet they all compliment each other beautifully. It is a great showcase of emerging talent in the genre and has led me to discover artists I hadn’t previously heard like BC Kingdom and Kelela, it also shows Cassie taking her music in a much more soulful, mature direction so looking forward to new material from her.

There is an energy about the album that’s exhilarating, these artists are all making their music their way and it acts as a teaser leaving you wanting more from all of them. If you want to here something fresh and soulful get a copy of Saint Heron now – it will not disappoint!

BC Kingdom- Lock Up

 

 

 

 


Sailing Out with Jhene Aiko

December 1st, 2013


One of the highlights for me on Drake’s Nothing Was the Same
album is ‘From Time’, because aside from the fact it’s a great track it features an
artist called ‘Jhene Aiko’ who I had never heard of before. I was amazed at how
distinctive, almost haunting her voice was on the track and couldn’t wait to
hear her solo material.

Sail Out’, the first EP from Jhene Aiko recently dropped
and it did not disappoint. It contains 7 tracks, all of which Jhene wrote,
every one individual in style and lyrical content. What struck me the most upon
my first listen is how unlike anything I’d heard before ‘Sail Out’ is, it’s
soulful but with a hip hop edge to it and I cannot liken the sound to any other
artist or even put it in a genre. Jhene uses lyrical content that typically you
would hear from male artists, singing, ‘Can I hit it again’, ‘Gotta get this
paper’ and ‘We Should Just get Naked’, which adds to her individuality as she
brings an undeniable assertiveness on her tracks.

Production on the EP is flawless, all tracks except one owing credits to the still relatively unheard of duo, ‘Fisticuffs’
who have so far worked almost exclusively with Miguel and Jhene I cant wait to
hear more tracks from these guys!

When I listened to the EP the most overriding impression I
was left with is that I was listening to an artist; this woman clearly knows
exactly the type of music she wants to make and is making it refusing  to adhere to genres or stereotypes. ‘Stay
Ready’ is my favourite track on ‘Sail Out’ and it takes a superior level of
confidence  to record a track as a new
artist with the hottest name in hip hop; Kendrick Lamar. The track is stunning;
lyrically and musically complex, changing tempo and sound half way through and
at 6 minutes long Jhene risks some DJs not giving it radio air time which again
just reinforces the confidence she has in her creativity.

This alluring EP is a must listen for any soul / neo-soul /
RnB or hip hop fans. Jhene’s style is so unique that I think it will divide
listeners; you’ll either love it or not really get it, but if you don’t get it
I would challenge you to not acknowledge her talent and artistry. I cant wait
for her album to drop next year, bringing this level of talent to the table on
a first EP is an exceptional achievement and something tells me this is just a
small sample of what Jhene Aiko is capable of!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Jhene Aiko – The Worst

 

 

 

 


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