The Internet recently paid a visit to Center Stage in Atlanta on March 2nd and 3rd, so we at IdOMUSIC want to tell you a little about the Grammy-nominated R&B band in case you aren’t familiar. They are definitely ones to watch, so here is a list of what we believe to be the Top 6 songs from their discography, along with a little background on the young artists.
- Girl feat. Kaytranada - Ego Death
- Dontcha - Feel Good
- Cocaine - Purple Naked Ladies
- Get Away - Ego Death
- Gabby feat. Janelle Monae - Ego Death
- The Garden - Purple Naked Ladies
Originating in LA, the band was formed by Odd Future members Syd (vocals) and Matt Martians (keyboards/vocals) in 2011. Since then, they have released three studio albums and three EPs. Ego Death, their most notable work to date, was nominated for a Grammy in 2016. Their music follows an alternative route to R&B music, combining hip-hop and electronic sounds.
In a 2016 interview with Hot 97, the group credits Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) and fellow artist Tyler the Creator for opening doors and normalizing a different sound. This allows audiences to be more receptive to their style of music. They group themselves with artists like Anderson .Paak or Thundercat, who both have a contemporary R&B sound with heavy jazz influences.
Syd spoke on the band’s first two albums saying their debut work, Purple Naked Ladies, had it’s own sound and their second release, Feel Good, was “too chill.” A testament to trial and error, Ego Death perfects their sound, finding the perfect mix of classic soul and the new-age rhythm and blues that borders on experimental.
The band definitely has a following, with a decent number of fans who have been with them from the beginning, but also a large number of people who, upon hearing “Girl,” started to pay more attention. They are set to release their next album in Spring. Three of the group’s members, Syd, Matt Martians, and Steve Lacy, have released solo projects leading up to their next collaborative work.
Matt Martians, the groups keyboardist and vocalist releasedThe Drum Chord Theory on January 27th. The album features 12 tracks of experimental hip-hop heavy in live instrumentation. His work caters more to an unconventional group, “Alotta Women/ Useless (feat. Kari Faux)” is my favorite track.
Martian’s solo work was followed by Syd’s Fin on February 3rd. Her work features 12 tracks of classic R&B vocals, reminiscent of Aaliyah, and her lyrics exude sensuality and maturity. “Body” and “All About Me” are my personal favorites.
Steve Lacy’s Demo is the solo release from the band’s guitarist Steve Lacy. His project, released on February 24th, features 6 songs with only a 15 minute duration. Be sure to listen to the whole demo, but “Ryd” is a personal favorite.
In an interview for Pharrell’s OTHERtone Podcast, the group noted that their solo projects will only help them as a whole, rather than dividing them. The albums allow you to get to know 3 out of 5 of the band’s members as individuals. It allows you to understand what they each contribute in order to find their sound as a whole. They are strong alone which only makes their collaborative efforts that much stronger. Be on the look out for their next release Spring of this year and take a listen to some of their earlier works to see just how far they’ve come.