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Tag: R&B (1-10 of 493)

London Richards is back with 'In Love With Fire'

Back in October we declared 17-year-old London Richards “the next big thing in R&B,” and he’s been keeping busy trying to achieve that goal. This afternoon he released a video for the second single from his debut love, London EP, and it’s a winner. The disco-inflected “In Love With Fire” has the understated confidence of a classic Michael Jackson or Bobby Brown single–the kind whose hooks slide up on you so casually that it’s almost cockier than if they made a big deal out of it–and Richards meets those comparisons head-on by busting out some fancy footwork.

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Frank Ocean went into the studio with Lil B

R&B phenomenon Frank Ocean set the world on fire with his exquisite 2012 debut Channel Orange, but in keeping with his general disregard for how pop singers are supposed to function in the modern day, he hasn’t followed it up with a mixtape or a glut of feature spots that would keep his name on the Hot 100. Paradoxically, his anti-publicity campaign has only intensified the anticipation for his next album, which he’s been working on in a typically secretive fashion.

At the beginning of December, Ocean posted a new song on his SoundCloud that hints at the direction he’s taking with his sophomore effort. Yesterday we may have gotten another clue in the form of a photo posted by Internet cult rapper Lil B that shows him with Ocean, along with the caption, “RARE photo of LIL B x FRANK OCEAN IN THE STUDIO TOGETHER!! NEW MUSIC COMING SOON! Collect this!”

It remains to be seen whether the results of their collaboration are intended for Ocean’s album or one of Lil B’s famously prolific mixtapes.

R&B duo Thrillers conjure sexy '80s vibes in their 'Can't Get Enough' video

Back during the summer, the duo Thrillers—made up of brothers Jeremy and Gregory Pearson—released a single, “Can’t Get Enough,” that brought the sound of ’80s teen-pop R&B into the here and now, with a slightly ravey, slightly sexy makeover along the way. Now comes the song’s video, which keeps up the retro theme with references to John Hughes’s Weird Science and a sprinkling of emulated VHS glitches.

“Can’t Get Enough” will appear on the Thrillers’ debut Cotton Candy Kisses EP, due out in the spring.

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Timbaland shares new Andre 3000 collaboration 'UFO' via video selfie

Some musicians treat their yet-to-be-released material like state secrets, keeping them on encrypted hard drives guarded by a security detail and threatening to sue into oblivion anyone who leaks them. Then you have Timbaland, who just premiered a song with one of the most sought-after artists in all of pop music through a video selfie.

On Saturday, the superstar producer posted a YouTube video of him singing along to a new track called “UFO” featuring Andre 3000 and Chicago singer Tink, who’s become Timbaland’s latest muse (and whose Winter’s Diary 2 mixtape was one of 2014’s best R&B releases). Three Stacks’ verse sounds pretty great, and will probably sound even better when there’s a version without Tim rapping over it.

“UFO” follows Timbaland’s debut of his Tink-assisted Rick Ross and Jay Z collab “Movin’ Bass” that he premiered on a Chicago hip-hop station’s morning show last month.

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Let BJ the Chicago Kid help you forget about that terrible Aaliyah biopic

Even as she’s grown into one of the most influential forces in modern pop music (just check the number of people walking around with baby hair and a SoundCloud full of atmospheric future-funk beats), Aaliyah’s suffered a depressing number of indignities since her death in 2001, from less-than-stellar posthumous albums to being press-ganged into a Chris Brown song. But the worst so far is the biopic that Lifetime just aired, which ignored her artistry in favor of focusing on her romantic relationships and portrayed her illegal underage marriage to R. Kelly as a Romeo and Juliet story rather than statutory rape.

Aaliyah fans are intensely upset about the movie, and they haven’t been shy about expressing it. Which is why it’s a good time for rising crooner BJ the Chicago Kid to release his own version of the Baby Girl classic “One in a Million” where he doesn’t try to do anything fancy or weird with it but simply sings a very good song the way it was meant to be sung. It’s an effective way of washing the Lifetime movie’s bad vibes out of your brain.

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Experimental R&B duo Pony Bwoy share 'Creature Comforts'

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Producer Hunter Morley and vocalist Jeremy Nutzman, the two Minneapolitans behind the experimental electronic group Pony Bwoy, cite contemporary R&B acts like The Weeknd and Warp Records-style IDM as their primary influences, but a better point of comparison might be early Ween. Like Gene and Dean in their early days, Morley and Nutzman deconstruct a genre into its tiniest constituent parts and reassembling it according to their own warped blueprints.

Their upcoming album när-kə, which they’ll self-release on Dec. 9, is a disorientingly fractured and woozily psychedelic spin on R&B that sounds like The Weeknd filtered through a prism of store-brand cough syrup. Get on their trip with the weirdly catchy slow jam “Creature Comforts.”

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Inside Light in the Attic Records, the vinyl-loving crate-digger's favorite label

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In 1968, Barbara Lynn was riding high. A gifted young blues guitarist and songwriter whose compositions had already been covered by Otis Redding and the Rolling Stones, the Beaumont, Tex., native had just signed with Atlantic Records to release her major-label debut, Here Is Barbara Lynn. Though it spawned the radio hit “You’ll Lose a Good Thing” and landed her an extended tour with B.B. King, it wasn’t the success Atlantic had hoped for. By the mid-1970s, a disillusioned Lynn had mostly withdrawn from the industry to raise her family—and Here was essentially lost to history.

Fast-forward four decades, and cue the entrance of Matt Sullivan. In 2002 the then-26-year-old founded Light in the Attic Records, a label whose raison d’être is resurrecting forgotten classics for a new generation of vinyl fetishists and crate diggers. “When they called, I was amazed,” says Lynn, now 72, via phone from her Beaumont home. “I feel so good about these songs. I didn’t think anybody was still thinking about me.”

Here Is Barbara Lynn is the latest in a series of some 150 eclectic reissues put out by the Seattle-bred boutique label. READ FULL STORY

You should listen to Danity Kane's surprisingly weird 'DK3'

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Danity Kane’s DK3 has a lot going against it.

It had the bad luck to be released the same week as Taylor Swift’s zeitgeist-devouring 1989. The group, which broke up during its recording nearly three months ago, aren’t around to promote it. Its Clipse-sampling lead single “Lemonade” didn’t make as much of a splash on radio as it may have deserved. And at a time where R&B is overrun with insurgent post-Weeknd artists who are crazy about grimy sounds, ennui, and ambiguous eroticism, Danity Kane remains steadfastly straightforward and high-polish.

So it’s not surprising that the record’s kind of falling through the cracks. What’s surprising is that that’s kind of a shame.

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T-Pain's Auto-Tune-free Tiny Desk Concert will blow your mind

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On the surface, T-Pain may seem like an exceedingly odd choice for one of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, not only because the series usually focuses on rootsy singer-songwriters and indie rockers, but because his Auto-Tune-drenched signature sound seems wildly incompatible with the type of stripped-down intimacy the whole premise is founded on. But two things a lot of people don’t realize about T-Pain are that 1. behind the top hats and stripper lyrics he’s actually an incredibly talented musician, and 2. perhaps even more surprisingly, behind all that Auto-Tune he’s a phenomenally talented singer. READ FULL STORY

FKA Twigs gets severely creepy in her 'Video Girl' video

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Last week, avant-R&B cosmonaut FKA Twigs released a video she directed for Google Glass that used a reworked version of “Video Girl” from her recent, EW-beloved LP1 as the soundtrack (along with the song “Glass & Patron”) for a hallucinatory dance-off between multiples Twigses. It served as a showcase for both her impressive dance moves and her equally refined sense of the surreal, but that wasn’t the end of the song’s video presence.

Wednesday morning, Twigs released the official “Video Girl” video, and it’s a whole world apart from the comparably conventional Google Glass clip and its white-room choreography. Directed by Kahlil Joseph, it trades in the lush, color-drenched psychedelia of her “Two Weeks” visual for harsh black-and-white, with the singer playing some kind of otherworldly presence haunting a prison and a man who’s being executed there. It’s an unsettling viewing experience that combines the most disturbing aspects of J-horror and Mulholland Drive, and it climaxes with Twigs straddling a dying man strapped down to a table with a tube of poison running into his arm. All in all, it delivers about 10 times as much creepiness as any horror movie this year in just a fraction of the time.

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