• Rawiri James

RāViewz: Music | May 2022


Here's what Rāwiri is jamming to this month...



Giveon - Lie Again


Mononymous musician Giveon is building up one the strongest collections of R&B love songs these past few years. Anchored by a couple of independent EPs, his ear for melody and penchant for heartbreak have amassed a following not only in urban music circles, but one that has helped him cross over to the pop charts.


Though not as immediate as 2021's For Tonight, the slow burn quality of Lie Again is yet another ballad of top quality. "I pretend no one has had you like I did," he pleads, "I don't need the truth baby... so lie again"


The solemn, sleepy soundscape conjures turn-of-the-century-Maxwell but that deep bass vocal is unmistakably Giveon.


 

Kehlani - Everything


She's come a hell of a long way since her 2014 debut, and despite the somewhat obligatory soundtrack placements and rapper-heavy collaborations, Kehlani has always delivered a little something different to her contemporaries. On her latest track Everything, she channels Sade for a chill, contemplative devotional.


A vibrant guitar loop introduces us to the singer's new love interest by way of an increasingly-stuffed tick list. At first revelling in the specificity of her lover's strong qualities, the song gives way to Kehlani's foundational confession: "baby, it's the everything, for me." The swirling strings back her up in the chorus.


As the talented artist has grown and evolved, her musical direction has also shifted. Blue Water Road, released last month, bares little resemble to the raw energy of SweetSexySavage but it's an intriguing and inviting new sound.


 

Mahalia - In The Club


Since 2012, Alternative R&B/soul artist Mahalia has been collecting fans and collaborating with industry heavyweights. With warm vocal tones, and a chill persona that has seen comparisons to Erykah Badu and Corrine Bailey Rae, she switches gears on her latest single.


Here on In The Club, the Leicester-born singer rides a classic 50 Cent interpolation, finessing his trademark chorus and replacing his rap tones for a buttery sing-a-long. What results is a very American sound, albeit with a touch of summery West Indies vibes.


Lyrically, Mahalia recounts the exhaustion of having to end friendships with those who cannot or will not respect her or stay loyal. Yeah, that's right. You can find her in the club, bottle full of bub... but you're no longer invited.


 

Blxst ft. Zacari - Sometimes


Fresh from his debut studio album Before You Go in April, LA rapper/singer/producer Blxst's latest bop Sometimes is another hit in an increasing collection of West Coast grooves.


Like Ty Dolla $ign before him, Blxst makes the switch from rapping verses to singing hooks look easily and enviable. Here on Sometimes he shares the load of the track's chorus with fellow Californian Zacari (a vocalist best known for singing on Kendricks Love).


It's not sophisticated, or especially slick even, but you can't deny the charisma of the two as they trade lines on this filthy dancefloor filler.


 

The Weeknd - Out Of Time (Kaytranda Remix)


Abel Tesfaye is one of the greatest pop songwriters of our generation, and paired with the ubiquitous Max Martin, has produced mammoth hit after mammoth hit. The latest release from his fifth album Dawn FM, and in remix form, courtesy of Kaytranda, Out Of Time finds the falsetto aficionado in a rare moment of low key, and the song is all the better for it.


With a music video that apes Lost in Translation (though, confusingly, stars Jim Carrey rather than Bill Murray), features the late-night city scape of Japan, and whose musical elements borrow heavily from an underrated 80s track, The Weekend dials down the bombast vocally and sonically for something oozing atmosphere and mystery.


We'd love more of this, Abel. Any time.


 

Daniel Caesar feat. BADBADNOTGOOD - Please Do Not Lean


Please Do Not Lean begins as an almost streams-of-consciousness goodbye letter to a woman named Emily. Upcoming nuptials be damned, Canadian vocalist Daniel Caesar is aware of his shortcomings and reveals that despite the heartbreak, he'd understand if his bride-to-be would choose a less complicated man to partner up with.


"Please do not lean on me, I'm unstable," he requests as genre-fluid BADBADNOTGOOD's drum kit swoops in at the chorus to punctuates his words. "You're all you need, I seen it, you're able."


Recently debuted at Coachella, Caesar's latest track packs the heavy emotive punch we've come to expect from a man well versed in love's quiet and unrequited moments.


 

Check out all of this month's tracks on the RāViewz Spotify playlist!



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