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4 ALT R&B ARTISTS YOU WANT TO KNOW

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You know those artists who you discover and think to yourself “how am I just now hearing this? How is s/he not already famous? How did s/he read my mind?” Well, here are 4 new ones to add to your list.

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ABRA

The queen, or PRINCESS, if you will, of turning raw, emotional vulnerability into powerfully unique R&B ballads. She’s a provocative and endearing story teller – someone you could get down with on the dance floor, then take home to have dinner with your family the next day. The epitome of real-girl-cool, her lyrics ensure you that you’re not alone on your crazed, hormone-filled, getting-through-a-breakup days, and that you indeed have the power to turn your dreams into reality. She writes and produces her own songs, recording her first album in her closet at her parent’s house in Atlanta. Listen to her when you want to remember how powerful (& sexy) your emotions are.

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Noname

You might recognize her melodic spoken word from the second half of “Finish Line” on Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book album. This Chicago native drops inspiringly honest lines in a holy – but never holier than thou – way, much like a few other Chicago favorites these days. She’s refreshingly real, in a way that makes you feel a little more okay with being wherever you are right now. Cigarettes, blunts, and late night love affairs all reside nicely alongside family, church, and school on her latest album, Telefone. You can also hear her in features on all of Chance’s albums, as well as Mick Jenkin’s track,”Comfortable.” Listen to her when you want to feel inspired in a relaxed, I-can-make-it-through-another-day-at-this-desk-job, type of way.

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Tommy Genesis

Mixing biblical references with sexual exploits, Tommy embodies the marriage of heaven and hell in the flesh. Her songs combine lyrical angst with the eerie sounds and deep beats of Atlanta trap. She’s something like a siren, both haunting and provocative, and impossible to ignore. If she cares about sociocultural norms or mainstream media, you’ll never know it from her work. Her lyrics make it clear that she’s explored her own intelligence and sexuality thoroughly, and she’s able to express it in a dark and beautiful way. Listen to her when you want to embrace the extremes of your human condition and own your own creative potential.

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Jean Deaux

She’s a melty mess of hair and sex. Her sound is soothing and her lyrics are clever. I started paying attention to Jean Deaux after hearing Mick Jenkin’s track “Healer,” and soon found that I’ve been listening to her, unknowingly, for a while. You’ll probably recognize her as the intoxicating voice on Glass Animals’ “Woozy.” Jean (pronounced like “Jahn”) speaks openly about everything from a failed suicide attempt to the intimacies of relationships. Her fluid, sensual sound is grounded with meaningful invitations to listen to and take part in what she’s going through.  Listen to her when you want to feel comfortable in your own skin, through the pain, pleasure, and beauty of it all.

 

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