Oakland, CA — The summer continues to be a generous one, this week we have new releases from the likes of Banks, Blood Orange, KAINA and more. This alternative R&B-filled list is sure to get you in your feelings this summer. Dive deep into some amazing albums you didn’t know you needed.
Banks - "III"
Banks has never held back when it came to pouring her heart into her music. However, in “III,” Banks seeks truth and vulnerability, the vocals and intensity of Banks’s delivery match the complexity of her heartache. From the surging opener “Til Now” to the invigorating and vulnerable closer “What About Love." Banks yearns for love and hopes to discover what liberation feels like, making listeners feel as if we completed the journey along with her.
Blood Orange - "Angel’s Pulse"
“Angel’s Pulse” embraces the laid back nature and casual experimentation expected from a Blood Orange mixtape. Blood Orange, aka Dev Hynes, offers a lighter, airy follow up to his previous album “Negro Swan." The project feels purposefully hazy and light. The ambiance frequently changes throughout the album as if someone were flicking through stations on the radio. Featuring guest verses from other genre-bending artists such as Toro y Moi, and Kelsey Lu, “Angel’s Pulse” is a mixtape deserving of everyone’s attention.
Elle Varner - "Ellevation"
Elle Varner keeps R&B alive with “Ellevation,” capturing a smooth and comforting sound not easily found in today’s music climate. The EP is undeniably warm, capable of making anyone feel like they’re cruising in their car on a summer day or having a tender moment with someone they care about. Elle Varner makes it clear she's experienced in her craft, mastering the abilities of her voice and penning each song from personal wisdom. Although the project is effortlessly raw and honest, it manages to be soothing and tender and never steps out of the familiarity Varner creates with the listener. No matter what music you’re into, “Ellevation” is one of those albums anyone can enjoy regardless of their music taste.
KAINA - "Next to The Sun"
Chicago native KAINA bares her soul in her debut album “Next to The Sun.” The 23-year-old shows more self-assurance and thoughtful intimacy than some of her peers. “Next to The Sun” finds a balance in being unique, yet familiar, expressive, yet coy. KAINA keeps listeners engaged song after song to see where she chooses to take us next. KAINA’s rich, velvet-like voice shines in harmony with the scenic and gentle instrumentals as she explores topics like family, sustaining aspirations, and the desires of the heart.
Yuna - "Rouge"
Yuna has been making waves since her Pharrell-produced single "Live your Life" became a hit in 2012. Yuna's latest album, “Rouge,” feels like a self-declaration of hope and ambition. The album is as bright and vivid as the French term it was named after, which Yuna explicitly chose as an expression of how much bolder she is. “Rouge” combines pop with a modern-day take on disco, creating a luminescent piece that is both coherent and fun. G-Eazy, Jay Park, and Tyler, the Creator are a few of the artists that lent their voices to the project, bring credibility and attention to a star that's already in the making.