Artfully deconstructed R&B with a playful edge...
Colourgrade Artwork

Three years after 'Devotion', Tirzah, with Mica Levi and Coby Sey, pushes her artfully deconstructed R&B towards a slightly rougher and more playful sound that’s no less appealing.

There are moments of unassuming, sparse beauty all over the place. Over loops and disarmingly simple patterns, the London artist sings quietly of tenderness and intimacy, with space-age synths (‘Hips’) and blasts of distorted guitar (single ‘Send me’) arriving like gusts on a calm day.

Elsewhere, ‘Colourgrade’, with its time-stretched vocal, and ‘Crepuscular Rays’ eschew hypnotic beats and give off something more free and dreamlike, pointing to a new-found confidence, even if the latter, aimless, feels too long. Where Tirzah and co excel is the cool and collected, as on ‘Beating’, all languid melodies, coughs and hiss, and single ‘Sink In’, whose tapped drums bring to mind Dean Blunt circa 2014. Equally, the loose, woozy guitars on ‘Sleeping’ recall Levi’s ‘Ruff Dog’ from last year. The sonics are strange and hard to recreate: they are forward thinking but in some ways ageless, a natural fit for Tirzah’s magnetic voice.

8/10 Dig it? Dig deeper: Mica Levi, Dean Blunt, CTM

Words: Wilf Skinner

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