Easy Picks: R&B/Soul

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Sampha hails from Morden, south London and has spent the last six years generously dividing his musical talents across solo and collaborative work. In addition to his own revered solo releases (his debut Sundanza EP, 2013’s Dual EP and “Too Much / Without You” single), Sampha contributed majorly to SBTRKT’s acclaimed debut and follow up Wonder Where We Land as co-writer and featured vocalist, and went on to tour worldwide as half of the SBTRKT live show (spanning Glastonbury, Primavera, Coachella, Brixton Academy, Terminal 5...) Equally in demand as a songwriter, singer, producer and player, Sampha has been sampled by and produced for Drake (“The Motion” and “Too Much ft Sampha”), Kanye West (“Saint Pablo ft Sampha”), Beyonce (“Mine ft Drake”), Katy B (“Play ft Sampha”) and FKA twigs (LP1 standout “Numbers”). He also remains a frequent collaborator in the Young Turks family and beyond; from remixing The xx and Chairlift to experimenting in sonics and structure as half of production duo Short Stories (alongside Koreless). Other significant partnerships include Jessie Ware on “Valentine” and Lil Silva (“Salient Sarah” + “On Your Own”).
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SZA

Ctrl [Colored Vinyl] (Gate) (Grn) (Ofv) (Dli)

Vinyl: $22.99 UNAVAILABLE

MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

Limited double colored vinyl LP pressing in gatefold jacket. 2017 release. Ctrl is the debut studio album by singer/songwriter SZA. Following the release of debut extended play Z (2014), SZA began writing for other artists and working on her debut, however her debut project was met with various setbacks. SZA followed an analog process and contributed heavily to the album's lyrics. Recording continued until 2017 by which SZA had created two hundred songs. During the recording process SZA opted for a freestyle method, relying on moments in the studio. The album debuted at #3 on the US Billboard 200. It generated the singles "Drew Barrymore", "Love Galore", and "The Weekend". As of October 2017, the album has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for accumulating over 500,000 in album-equivalent units and pure sales.
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SYD

Fin (Ofv) (Dli)

Vinyl: $21.98 UNAVAILABLE

MP3 Album: $10.99 Download

Limited 150gm vinyl LP pressing. 2017 release, the debut solo album from The Internet's frontwoman and producer. Fin was written and produced by Syd, and also features production from Melo X (Lemonade), Hit Boy, Haze, and Rahki. Fin is the first new music written and produced by Syd since the release of her band The Internet's Grammy-nominated album, Ego Death, in 2015. That record was hailed as one of the year's favorites by the likes of Rolling Stone, The Fader, Complex, NPR, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Pigeons & Planes, Nerdist, Noisey, and many more, with the New York Times Magazine saying, "The Internet has carved out an entirely new corner of R&B, thanks to [Syd]: an androgyny who sings seductive incantations about falling in and out of love..."
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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' final studio album, Soul of a Woman is a lush, orchestral masterpiece. A true testament to the life and career of Daptone's fearless leader and one of the world's greatest performers. In the year prior to her death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, Sharon Jones toured and performed tirelessly, and was also the subject of Miss Sharon Jones!, an acclaimed documentary by Oscar-Winning director Barbara Kopple. Yet somehow, the beloved and heroic soul singer found time to complete a studio album. Soul of a Woman features eleven songs which reveal that the emotion, dynamics, and drama of Jones' voice remained at full power until her final days.
The songs on Soul Of A Woman exemplify two distinct sides of the band s sound. Side One showcases the grittier, bluesier material like Matter Of Time and Sail On giving Sharon the room to flex her vocal prowess, creating a liveness that few studio albums posses. Side Two takes on a more sophisticated orchestral mood. Tracks like When I Saw Your Face and These Tears (No Longer For You), capture a soft vulnerability in Sharon's vocals that draws you deep inside, and yet they remain nuanced with the signature toughness that never allow you to forget she's steering the ship. The finished product is an album that captures a band and a singer at their peak. Includes download card.

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Khalid

American Teen [Vinyl]

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MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

18-year-old El Paso-native singer/songwriter, Khalid, burst onto the music scene with his first single "Location", which received great critical acclaim. By 18-years-old, Khalid, who is classically vocal trained, had drawn on his experiences with moving often and the unique experience of growing up having lived in two continents and parlayed them into the creation of his viral smash, "Location". Khalid released "Location" before his high school graduation and it garnered over 1.52 million plays in less than two months, along with critical praise from various music tastemakers.
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Miguel

War & Leisure

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MP3 Album: $9.99 Download

2017 release from the singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. War & Leisure is the follow-up to 2015's Wildheart. Includes the tracks "Told You So" and "Sky Walker" (featuring Travis Scott). Miguel incorporates R&B, funk, hip hop, rock and electronic styles into his music, and has been compared to vocalists Babyface and Prince. Raised in Los Angeles, Miguel began creating music at age thirteen. After signing to Jive Records in 2007, Miguel released his debut studio album, All I Want Is You, in November 2010. Although it was underpromoted upon it's release, the album became a sleeper hit and helped Miguel garner commercial standing. After Jive's dissolution in 2011, he moved to RCA Records and released his second studio album, Kaleidoscope Dream in 2012 to critical acclaim. On June 29, 2015, Miguel released his third studio album, Wildheart, which also received universal critical acclaim.
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2017 release. Kehlani tells it like it is. Whether in conversation or on stage, the Oakland-born R&B singer and songwriter gives the straight truth about her life, pain, passion, love, triumph, and everything in between with collected calm and confidence. It's that type of honesty that makes her music resonate with the depth of classic Motown and a vividly confessional lyricism reminiscent of Neo Soul. Kehlani achieved initial fame as a member of the teen pop group, Poplyfe, which was a finalist on America's Got Talent. She released her first mixtape, Cloud 19, in 2014. The album was listed among Complex's 50 Best Albums of 2014. Kehlani's second mixtape, You Should Be Here, debuted at #5 on the national R&B/Hip-Hop chart in 2015. In 2016, she was nominated for the Best Urban Contemporary Album Grammy Award for You Should Be Here.
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Jhene Aiko

Trip

CD: $13.99 UNAVAILABLE

MP3 Album: $13.49 Download

Jhené Aiko -"Trip" Jhené Aiko takes fans on a mystical journey with release of new album TRIP - A 22 song masterwork of love, loss & discovery- Arriving September 22. Over a decade in the making, Jhené's psychedelic soul opus explores a deeply personal voyage. Guest appearances include Big Sean, John Mayer, Swae Lee, Kurupt, Chris Brown & Brandy. Trip is accompanied by self-released, autobiographical short film written, co-directed and starring Jhené Aiko, as well as a poetry book written by Jhené.