Described as the “the future” by BBC Radio 1 DJ and tastemaker Mistajam, XAMVOLO drops a vibe-heavy single ‘In Love & War’ – a cross pollination of soul, electronica and R&B – ahead of his EP.
In the last 12 months, the 24-year-old has risen to the attention of critics and music fans the world over thanks to his impressionist re-imaginings of neo-soul, jazz and pop. He’s played Glastonbury, sold out multiple headline London shows, been compared with everyone from D’Angelo to Anderson Paak and released an acclaimed EP and debut album, ‘All The Sweetness on the Surface’.
‘All The Sweetness on the Surface’ is powerful and emotive collection of song
writing mastery and a testament to XAMVOLO’s cinematic method of creating worlds within his
music, it tells a neo-noir story of a protagonist who finds themselves confronted with a hive
containing a black honey substance that can grant them their every desire.
The album is split into two parts, life before the discovery of the black honey and the grim consequences of life after, in which we’re shown the dark side of getting everything you ever wanted at the click of a finger. The bulk of the album was produced by XAMVOLO himself, but also sees collaborations with heavyweight producers AV and Paul Phamous (Frank Ocean) as well as Bruno Major, Fred Cox and Freddie Joachim.
Listen to the master at work with ‘In Love and War’:
Since DANI DARLING came under the NLM radar, with neo soul single, ‘2:22’ her musical direction has taken a detour – a massive detour. Her shift of direction comes in form of the six-piece EP, ‘Nocturne’.
Classic soul meets new hazy lo-fi soul, in this EP, largely in an experimental and almost stripped back setting, that’s immediately appealing. Third effort, ‘One Of Us’, displays use of sound spanning from the Golden Hollywood era, fused with a mesmerizing lo-fi hazy tone providing that four-on-the-floor pattern.
With the exception of concluding piece, ‘Stranger’, all of the singles were no longer than two-and-a-half minutes long; it’s a shame, as I would like hear more!
With her delicate vocals serving as a backdrop for the genre-bending combo, DANI DARLING proves that a great soulful piece doesn’t always have to feature the classic powerhouse performance as the main focal point. Have a listen below:
Describing her sound as one part Abba and two parts Twin Peaks, GRACE LIGHTMAN unveiled a rather earthy video for latest single, ‘An Ordinary Life’.
Speaking of her alt-soul offering, Grace says: “An Ordinary Life is a love song to the human race, from the perspective of the Silver Eater. It’s bittersweet as it comes from a place of awareness that she will never be able to have the ordinary life she wants, almost like an unrequited love.
This is one of the more personal songs on the record, capturing the alienation in a wistful way that I hope people can relate to. In our moments of vulnerability we do just wish we could fit in, even if we know we shouldn’t try to”
Signed to London based indie label, Handsome Dad Records (home to the likes of Inc. No World, Babeheaven etc), Grace has received support from 6Music and Radio One with previous single, ‘Zero Impact’.