In the weeks leading to Quadron’s Avalanche album release, I was certainly excited about it. However, I got somewhat distracted (probably a shiny light or ball of string) and have only got around to giving it a proper listen in the last few weeks. What it proved was that I’m self-sabotaging: it’s a superb LP that will improve anyone’s day/week/life/girlfriend.
Amongst its highlights was the first single, Hey Love, which has lost none of its addictiveness in the intervening months since its release, and here serial remixer Ryan Hemsworth gets his hands on it for a slightly darker twist. The funk is mostly pulled away from the body of this track, leaving a carcass of only Coco’s vocals, with Ryan substituting in a production built up of atmospheric synths, isolated clicks, and intermittent blasts of samples and effects for a more downbeat, but still wholly laidback effort. It’s a unique take on the track, and plays more on the bittersweet lyricism than the positive nature of the actual vocal delivery and original production, working to make this feel like an entirely new track rather than a rework- that’s definitely a compliment, as for better or worse, at least it shows a modicum of creativity and effort. Worth a go, and might appeal to those who found the original a little too upbeat.
Most collaborations are rather predictable, partly because many take place across hip-hop, but here Quadron unexpectedly bring their chillout style together with the rap smarts of Kendrick for a strong track.
Whereas their lead single was a switch in sound for Quadron, this effort is a return to their mellow roots and a track that will satisfy their longtime fans, whilst also providing the newer fans (this collab will create many, I’m sure) a glimpse into what they’re best at. The production is a laidback blend of gentle percussion, soft yet progressive synths and a couple of warm melodies that’ll probably land you on a beach holiday in mere seconds. It grows with time too, incorporating livelier, more exuberant melodies to match Coco’s considerable vocal gifts, with her initially delicate vocals bursting with vivacity as that production evolves. Her performance is typically flawless throughout, whilst Kendrick again shows he’s adapatable to almost any production type, with a watertight delivery packed into an easygoing cadence that blends well with the backdrop; he does it so effectively that his stuttered line quite cleverly breaks the entire track’s flow, and certainly commands attention. Velvety-smooth goodness from Quadron once again, and be sure to grab the Avalanche LP on 4th June.
The ever-smooth Quadron come through with visuals for the lead single from the Avalanche album, due on 4th June. This track has grown on me by the day since its release, particularly the addictive hook, and it’s good to get a refresh with this visual.
Speed dating, with a difference. Coco lines up a group of suitors (get it? SUIT? YEAH), and they’re each given the chance to enjoy a little choreography with the wonderfully-gifted vocalist, who proves she’s got moves to add to her vocal capabilities. Truthfully, despite enjoying their music, this is the first video of Quadron’s I’ve watched, and if you’re in the same situation you’ll struggle to not be charmed and captivated by Coco’s fun and charismatic performance throughout here. There are a range of smart costume changes too, for those of you fashion-inclined, adding a good dash of colour and glamour to proceedings each time, and capping off a positive visual that unquestionably improves the song even further. Look out for that album in June, and grab this single now.
Wolf lands officially tomorrow, and for those of you who’ve avoided any leaks and such, you can check out the entire 18-track LP here. From a very brief listen to a few of the tracks, there’s a marked maturity in his music, and in keeping with the two previously-released tracks, the dichotomy of Tyler’s chaotic and introspective sides are represented well. The maturity comes in the form of the weighting-it seems as though the album’s highlight tracks (and those said by Tyler to be his favourites) lean more toward the reflective side of his work, and there’s no doubt he’s delivered well on that front in that past.
Features include Pharrell, Frank Ocean, Erykah Badu, Coco O of Quadron, Casey Veggies, Earl Sweatshirt and a handful more of the Odd Future clan. Plenty of promise, and you can preview the LP below before making your purchase decision tomorrow.
Tyler, The Creator-Wolf (Full Album Stream)
It’s crazy to think it was two years ago on Jimmy Fallon’s show that OFWGKTA’s popularity soared, literally overnight, on the back of their crazy performances of tracks from Tyler’s then-upcoming Goblin album. Flashforward to now, and Tyler’s gearing up to release his follow-up LP Wolf, and returns to the scene of his arrival to perform Domo 23, and the previously-unheard Treehome.
As a big Quadron fan, having Coco feature on Treehome is an excellent surprise. Whilst I’m sure there’s plenty more to the track than performed here, it’s her vocals that really dominate this song, with her relaxing and mellow voice synergising wonderfully with the soft yet lively backdrop produced by The Roots in this case. Tyler’s only real contribution for this appears to be occasional adlibs and a nice stint on the piano, a skill we rarely get to see him demonstrate. Domo 23′s up next, and of course the energy shoots through the roof on that one; it’s reminiscent of the aforementioned debut Fallon performance with a chaotic, frenzied approach that draws heavily on punk influences, and gives the song a much more aggressive edge than its studio version. A fun performance with two very opposing styles of music, look out for more from Wolf to land soon.
Rather belatedly, I’ve immersed myself in their self-titled 2010 album in recent weeks, and it’s quite nicely timed that they’ve let loose of a new effort.
Those familiar with Quadron (and some of you unknowingly will be) will wholly expect a slice of easygoing electronic soul, based on their previous works. Think again. This is a much more lively, upbeat track that’s got a stronger pop influence: driven along by a rattling, tribal-esque percussion and mesmerising vocal sample in the verses, the track undergoes a huge upgrade for the hook with a crisp, speedy percussion and a hint of keys, whilst the vocals follow suit with a progressive approach that increase smoothly in intensity from verse to hook. It’s good to see some diversity from the duo, especially when the execution is as effective as this, and there’s definite potential for this to open Quadron up to a much wider, more mainstream audience. Hopefully, more material is coming soon as this is an all-rounder with plenty of replayability.