By: Jessica Nakamoto –
What’s old is new. At least, it appears that way where popular trends are concerned. However, aviator sunglasses and pixie haircuts aside, this revolving cycle can yield exciting products in unexpected areas. Expanding beyond the obvious fashion scene, modern music is yet another area in which past inspiration has served as a backbone for new interpretation on classic works. In fact, with current artists such as Banks and Solange making sufficient headway in popularity, it appears that the music scene has welcomed back the age of R&B and soul music with a distinct modern twist.
Another artist working her way into the alt-R&B spotlight is Brooklyn, New York-based singer/songwriter, Iyves. With a sound that draws comparisons to a female version of The Weeknd, it’s clear that Iyves has great musical potential in the alt-soul music scene.
Motown, blues, and folk genres all serve as inspiration for Iyves who notes growing up within a musical family as a positive influence on her singing career. However, her most current work proves that she can not only replicate, but, put a personal spin on these childhood favorites. Soul music is happily infused with notes of electronic-pop in her first EP, Chromatic (out today – June 15). This seven-song collection produces a unique and distinctive sound that makes a strong case for a resurgence of the classic R&B genre with an added twist.
A defining strength of the record lies in the easily distinguishable beat and crafty lyrics present in each song. Tackling topics such as lost love and defiance, Iyves paints a vivid picture laced with imagery through the use of electronic rhythms and creative choruses. In “Palmes”, she sings the relatable verse, “my eyes were sore from fighting my mind”. With these artistic but down to earth statements, Iyves seems to bring the listener into the realm of her inner thoughts with ease.
However, criticism can be found in the repetitive and sometimes drawn out segments of choir-meets-synth pieces found in different tracks. While highly effective in small bursts, elongated use of these sections in songs such as “Phantom” emphasize the presence of heavy production and electronic mixes that in contrast, seem effortless in songs such as “Pressure” and “Not Afraid to Fall”.
Overall, Iyves should ultimately receive a healthy round of applause for her innovative skills. With Chromatic, she not only succeeds honoring the classics, but she moldsthe R&B genre into her own electronic variant of modern soul music. In other words, Iyves’ creative outlook ensures her music’s place, not just a trendy fad, but a movement that is likely to continue to evolve and grow with time.
Recommended Tracks: “Pressure”, “Palms”, and “Not Afraid to Fall”
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