Sounds of R&B & Soul: EMY, Bianca Jade, Alastair Lane feat. Lee Wilson, Silvertwins Of Funk, Highlyy feat. Tion Wayne, & Miranda Joan

R&B and soul are two of those classic sounds that haven’t wavered over the years, instead they’ve continued to evolve and branch out into exciting new frontiers. So without further ado, let’s have a listen.

Rising trio EMY presents an entirely original take on the R&B genre, with their own additions of trip-hop backbeats and indie-pop melodies which are spun out in a dizzying production that is designed to swirls around the listener’s mind. The Belgian band’s Parisian founder Emy Kaboré’s self-taught background is reflected in this fresh approach as she shakes off all cliché modes, although those recognisable undertones of neo-soul, alt-R&B and bedroom-pop can still be picked out throughout. Overall, ‘Chasing’ is such a poignant and touching listen; utterly creative.

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The golden threads between the past and present melt together in Bianca Jade’s molten single ‘Pressure’, which seamlessly combines modern trap beats with old-school R&B melodies. Her voice effortlessly keeps up with the quick-draw trap staccato in the song’s faster moments, but the singer can also slow it down again for those honeyed high notes. Evidently, she has so much control over her voice, the track and the situation at the heart of her lyrics. Bianca Jade proves that pressure does indeed create diamonds.

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For obvious reasons, we have quite the affinity with the colour purple and so when ‘Purple Skies’ came our way we had high expectations, which were instantly met with the fluorescently feel-good sound of Alastair Lane’s dynamic production. The groovy bassline and funky Rhodes plays homage to 70s disco and funk, with a generous injection of acid jazz to bring this track right into the present moment. Whether it’s Lee Wilson’s sensual vocals or the emphatic trumpet solos, you’ll be helpless to resist the infectious rhythms and uplifting melodies of this joyful dance-funk number.

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Our second funk-doused single also draws on the genre’s vintage roots although the production team of Fredrik “Fronkpac” Jahn and Mattias “The Guitarman” Adolfsson (collectively known as Silvertwins Of Funk) stay much closer to that old-school style. ‘Funkin All Night’ evokes that starry-eyed optimism of carefree evening surrounded by the ones you love and with an abundant source of endless dance energy. This is all topped-off by Jenny Silver’s effortlessly soulful voice which silkily glides over the layered synth and guitar grooves.

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Forget the one-man band, it’s all about the one-man soldier in Highlyy’s new track. The Essex-based newcomer stands out as an undeniable talent for her lyrical wit and unique vocal tone throughout ‘Soldier’. It’s an addictive listen that calls on UK’s home-grown styles of garage, R&B and hip-hop, as well as the 18-year-old artist’s Congolese heritage which she proudly demonstrates while bouncing between her English, French and Yoruba languages. This original track is completed by guest artist Tion Wayne whose baritone flow contrasts Highlyy’s fresh-faced soprano tone.

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It’s time for a dose of mesmeric soul-pop from Canadian singer-songwriter Miranda Joan via her late single ‘Overstimulated’, which is bound to sooth any over-taxed mind. From the very start, we’re greeted by the mellow soundscape of extra-deep bass and organic finger clicks before the artist’s luxurious vocal comes into play. She has such an inviting vocal tone and her sumptuous promises of overstimulation will draw the listener further and further in to this indie-soul world.

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