EP Review: The Lovers’ Tape – Shantéh x Joshua. James

What meant to be a standalone track to be release on Valentines Day, singer/songwriter SHANTÉH and producer JOSHUA. JAMES’ new EP, ‘The Lovers’ Tape’ was quickly turn into a four-track project that was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in four days (yes, four days!)

Bringing all angles of a love story to the table – from building trust, to an untimely separation, then from re-exploring the idea of a relationship to finally solidifying a true bond and commitment – ‘The Lovers’ Tape’ possesses a fresh take on 90s Slow Jam – thanks to the warming glow of the background vocals (which takes on a Jodeci-ish vibe in third track, ‘Luvin’ You’), the sombre feel from the piano (featured in ‘Foundations’) and the vibrant guitar plucks, giving off a Afro tone (in concluding track, ‘Meant To Be’). Each aforementioned component are all brought together by an uplifting meaty bass.

There’s no doubt about it that this mini set is definitely for those who love them some good old 90s Sow Jam. I, for one, am really impressed by their quick turnaround on a project of such high calibre – and still have it ready in time for Valentine’s Day. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the South Londoners will join up for another collaboration. Check out ‘The Lovers’ Tape below…

Must Listen: Foundation

EP Review: 034 – Oloye Coldman

Although it’s only five tracks long, OLOYE COLDMAN‘s latest EP, ‘034’ features 16 (yes,16!) artists contributing to a spectrum of sound where western urban influences meets the gleeful presence of the Motherland (more specifically, Nigeria).

Here in this set, you’ll experience the real vibrancy on a modern take of Igbo music, working with the sweet runs of piano keys and trumpet, giving a real bluesy jazz feel (listen to ‘Why E Be’), straight up chilled hip-hop/R&B trap effort (in ‘What’) to old school-hip-hop-inspired sound with vocals giving a rich motherland feel (listen to concluding track, ‘Gone’).

In this bio, Oloye described his EP as ‘the first of its kind in Nigeria’ – he’s not wrong – as this mini set is bursting with massive sounds which will leave lasting impression. Have a listen to the EP below…

Must Listens: What, Gone

EP Review: Nightshades – Herbivores

Picking up right where they left off on their self-titled debut EP, which was released back in the summer to rave reviews and strong support from tastemakers such as SoulBounce, Gigwise and SingersRoom, prolific Brooklyn neo-soul collective HERBIVORES  have unveiled their sophomore EP and second project of the year titled ‘Nightshades’.

Written by all four members, Bel-Ami, Reddaz, Misha Savage and Will Sacks, the EP invites you into a lush offering of featherlight neo soul paired with unmatched powerhouse performance.

Second offering, ‘Mama Nose’ stills retains their signature sound but the second-to-none vocal performance gives the arrangements a reggae riddim twist. ‘Boomerang’ possess a spirit of Southern soul: the confident guitar plucks leads the way in the track, later joined by the infectious bounce of the bass and gleeful trumpets, pulled together by gusty vocals that really hits the spot.

A bed of airy electronica-ish backdrop is added to their neo soul vibe in the latter part of the set, creating a real intimate and euphoric experience.

Now I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never heard of these guys before this EP – but I’m glad I did as the name Herbivores will be firmly on my radar for 2021. Have a listen to ‘Nightshades’ – I have a sneaky feeling that they’ll be on your musical radar too.

Must Listen: Walk Away

EP Review: Summer ’98 – Zee

Hailing from Canada now based in L.A. artist/producer ZEE‘s new EP is definitely a throwback to the late 1990’s, paying homage to hip-hop and R&B of that era. Although this is a nostalgic collection – which evidently draws influences from 90’s R&B heavyweights including Usher, Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah – I couldn’t help but hear some influences of fellow Canadian artist/rapper Drake, particularly in introductory track, ‘Amazing’.

Further along the EP, Zee makes use of samples from some of the R&B classics, such as Kelly Rowland’s/Nelly’s hit ‘Dilemma’, putting a lick of a misty urban/hip-hop bass to the original through fourth effort, ‘All I Need’.

There’s also an air of the late 1980s included in the EP, when Zee put his stamp on Brenda Russell’s classic, ‘Piano In The Dark’ through concluding track, ‘Letting Go’, by dropping a modern R&B/pop version, giving off a summer hazy feel.

Documenting the events of his first summer love (presumably back in the late nineties), Zee encourages us to re-immerse into our most treasured memories – or create new ones – with his feel-good mini collection. Check out the song recommendations and EP below:

Must Listens: Amazing, Crazy Enough, Mean It  

Obsidian Cane Presses The ‘Reset’ Button On Latest EP

Giving old skool UK Garage a new lease of life, producer/artist OBSIDIAN CANE’s latest three-track EP, ‘Reset’ came along by complete chance…

The tracks on the EP were originally separate projects for three artists – Bryonii, I Am Born and Stacey Pierre. The plan to release the summer bangers came to a halt when the Covid-19 pandemic struck the UK back in March.

Obsidian explains: “My plan was to complete each project then go back to performing at live events. Then the world went into lockdown and everything changed. Music events were cancelled, clubs closed, and social distancing gave me some tough decisions to make. I had a serious discussion about quitting the music industry for good, but my music promoter convinced me the Covid-19 lockdown was the best time to release new music as a new artist. Since everything felt reset and new, I used that energy and produced the three songs and title the EP.”

‘Reset’ EP may be the first solo release from Obsidian Cane, a seemingly unknown artist, who received over 13,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, but he’s certainly no novice to the UK underground dance scene. The Londoner scored success with club hit (I Need A Rhythm) as Garage duo KP with UK Garage producer Paul Benjamin and has performed live at 51st State music festival as KP.

Away from his partner-in-crime Paul Benjamin, Obsidian has other projects up his sleeve: he has produced music for artist in development Warner, EMI and Parlophone, as well as producing music for popular TV shows, including Get Up Stand Up and EastEnders.

‘Reset’ EP is now available on various download/streaming platforms.

Follow Obsidian Cane: https://www.instagram.com/obsidiancane/

Have a listen below…