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  

Song of the Day: Hot In Herre – Lion Babe

New York based duo LION BABE (comprised of singer / songwriter Jillian Hervey and producer Lucas Goodman) drop their latest release, ‘Hot In Herre’, onto today’s spotlight.

Premiered on Rebecca Judd’s Brand New Beats One show, the single is a house/funk take on Nelly’s hip-hop hit.

Their recent album Cosmic Wind, released in 2019, offered stand out singles ‘Western World which pulled inspiration from the Pet Shop Boys timeless song ‘West End Girls’ and featured hip-hop legend Raekwon, and the disco-infused bop ‘The Wave’ featuring Leikeli47, which was used by the American Heart Association for their 2019 ‘Kids Heart Challenge’ campaign, a nationwide physical education initiative aimed to get kids in participating schools dancing as a means of heart-healthy exercise and raise funds for the organization’s life-saving mission. The 15-track ‘Cosmic Wind’ album is an introspective turn, highlighting the duo’s growth socially, physically, lyrically; musically.

‘Cosmic Wind’ followed Lion Babe’s 2016 critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Begin’ and comes on the heels of a very strong 2018 for the band, earmarked by live performances at Coachella’s main stage, and AFROPUNK festival. They ended the year with two reimagined covers for Carly Simon’s classic ‘Why’ and Little Beaver’s ‘Get Into The Party Life’.

Since 2014, the duo have garnered an impressive music catalogue throughout the years, and have collaborated with some music favorites such as rapper/actor Childish Gambino, and house music’s sibling duo, Disclosure, who featured the New York natives on their smash single ‘Hourglass’,  which peaked at #80 on the UK Singles Chart and was performed at huge stages across the world.

In 2018, HBO’s Original Series, Insecure, ‘Obsessed Like’ recruited Lion Babe for their singles ‘Hits the Ceiling’, and ‘Just Me’, which were broadcasted for Seasons 1 and 3. Making festival appearances over the recent years at Coachella, AFROPUNK, Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, Smokin’ Grooves Fest, Amsterdam’s Milkshake Festival and most recently at Australia’s Wildlands, Beyond The Valley and Original Fields festivals, Lion Babe are set to perform at Lightning In A Bottle in Bakersfield, CA on May 23rd, with more 2020 live dates to be announced soon.

Check out their take on Nelly’s hit below…