Every month, Donna Arendse of Lekker Collective curates a playlist of eight soulful tracks by, or featuring, female artists. For April, the selection has a slightly grimy, tense undertone, while still maintaining plenty of soul.
Sorceress – Brother Dragonfly
Soulful, electronic outfit Sorceress caught my attention back in 2015 when I saw them playing at Neue Heimat one sunny Sunday afternoon in Berlin. Citing “creation eternal” as their main influence, Sorceress was founded in 2011 by vocalist Rachel Fraser and producer Isaac Aesili, and has quickly evolved into one of the most widely respected electronic soul acts in New Zealand.
The band explores new directions in soul electronica, making excursions into synth-based jazz textures and deep subterranean basslines, and marrying these with intricate melodies, tight beats, and sultry, soulful vocals in “Brother Dragonfly”
Mizan K – Anxious
New York based songstress Mizan possesses a captivating sound, melding electronic production, chunky beats and throbbing synths with sweet, soulful vocals.
Taken from her Dark Blue EP, “Anxious” is a tune that is both darkly powerful and sweetly intimate, commanding your attention with its pondering piano melody, oddly intricate production and ethereal vocal harmonies.
NOVAA – Hands
Novaa is a German singer, songwriter and producer who is gaining recognition for her wonderfully metaphorical storylines and eerie soundscapes. ‘Hands‘ is taken from her 2016 EP Stolen Peaches, and revolves around the struggles to connect with people but being unable to get past the physical. Steeped in organic electronic production. With comparisons having been made to highly significant and creative artists such as Björk and Grimes, the talented 20-year-old musician creates a unique sound which draws from elements of electronica, folk and pop.
Kudu Blue– Sugar Lemz
Brighton based four-piece Kudu Blue have just released new single “Sugar Lemz”, ahead of the release of much-anticipated debut EP, Shaded. Written, recorded, and produced entirely in their home studio in Brighton, ‘Sugar Lemz’ incorporates a diverse set of influences to create something that sounds both timeless, yet refreshingly modern. The band unite chilled production, electronically tinged instrumentals and intricate production flourishes, with singer Clementine Douglas’ soulful jazz-inflected vocal lines. Finely balancing facets of RnB, soul, and electronic pop – with intriguing production traits, Kudu Blue have a sound very much of their own – unpredictable in its delivery, but always with a undoubtedly satisfying end result.
Alex Lustig ft. Ayelle – Do Wrong
Alex Lustig is a producer who will make you perk your ears up for his dreamy soundscapes, and penchant for bedroom style RnB. The Juno Award nominated producers’ credits include Young Thug, Dizzy Wright, Freddie Gibbs and more. “Do Wrong” features the sultry vocal stylings of Ayelle, a London based, Swedish-Iranian songstress who is making waves with her powerful feminist messaging. The track floats on crispy beats, intricately layered production, vocal manipulation and an immaculate RnB general flair.
Flores – Oceans (Produced by Maths Time Joy)
Flores creates glitchy electronic music with alluring R&B layers on “Oceans”. Produced by London’s Maths Time Joy, the track is a slow-paced offering which features a wonderfully unobtrusive plethora of breathy, hushed tones from the Norwegian songstress. Melding R&B and progressive electronica, “Oceans” is the definition of sultry, electro soul, proving that the dynamic duo can never miss. They also just released another stunning track last month, entitled “Undercover”, which is definitely worth checking out.
Rosie Lowe – How’d You Like It
In keeping with the vein of brooding, electronic and pop tinged soul, this two year old track from Rosie Lowe definitely deserves to be shared. Sophisticated pop songwriting with off -kilter, brooding electronic production, “How’d You Like It” draws the listener in with its thumping beats, warbling synths, and bounce worthy bass melodies.
Russ Chimes – Drift (Feat. Iris Gold)
Ending off with a song I’ve been pretty obsessed with since first finding it last month – South East London producer and DJ Russ Chimes teamed up with London based songwriter Iris Gold on the gorgeous “Drift” – four flawless minutes of sound, from the downtempo production, shuffling sound design, understated drums, ponderous bass lines and the soulful strains of Gold’s vocal as she moves between chanting verses and silky choruses.
To listen to the uninterrupted playlist go here: http://bit.ly/womenandsoul