Xavier Omar – If You Feel

Xavier Omar has had an interesting trajectory. Starting his career in 2012 under the moniker SPZRKT, (abbreviation for Spazzy Rocket) he released a steady stream of EP’s produced by his musical match, Sango. His rise in popularity and recognition has been nothing short of gradual. After four EP’s and penning an open letter in which he divorced his old stage name, Omar released his first ever album and music video for Just Get Here ft. VanJess and Wale last autumn. A unique approach to protecting his mystique, which for the most part has worked in his favour.

Xavier Omar returns again not long after the release of his debut with if You Feel. Omar’s secondary effort, released almost a year to the day of Moments Spent Loving You is a perfectly sequenced, 11 track body of work. This go around, we get to hear Omar collaborate with the likes of Mereba (Like I Feel), Masego (SURF) and new comer Jae Stephens for the laid back summertime track All Our Time.

Getting more personal on this album, the singer-songwriter lets listeners in on his new marriage, expressing his devotion to his wife on tracks like Protect and in particular So Much More; a stand out, 90s nostalgia slow jam.

In true Omar style, each song is laced with warm and intricate harmonies. Pushing the limits, we see Omar sample the Dru Hill smash ‘Tell Me’ for the 5th track on the album, ‘want/need’ where he flits between rapping and singing effortlessly.

‘If You Feel’ is a great continuation to Xavier Oamr’s journey; a piece of art where the underground RnB artist meets the mainstream without losing substance. A perfect balance. 

Check out the full album below, and let us know what you think:

Chloe x Halle – The Ungodly Hour

Photography credit to Robin Harper

American RnB duo, Chloe x Halle planned to release their second studio album titled, The Ungodly House on the 5th of June, but later decided to push the release back by a week to honour the Black Lives Matter movement and the unfolding events surrounding the murder of George Floyd. 

Fast forward to the 12th of June, and the album is released to the world. Pressing play, and hearing the opening lines to the album “Don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness” beautifully translates to the mood of the album. As the duo unapologetically explore their fully-fledged adulthood. A step up life experience and maturity from their debut album, The Kids Are Alright, The Ungodly Hour delves into the conflict of young adulthood and fidelity, “It’s nine o’clock, I get a text saying are you up?/ ‘Bout 9:15/ My girl said she got the same message, the same thing” sings Chloe in a harsh, assertive tone on the early noughties song – “Busy Boy”. 

With the duo receiving writing and producing credits on almost all of the 13 tracks, they serve up a unique RnB sound with a touch of soft rock on “ROYL” and soft house music on the Disclosure produced album title track. Their sleeper hit; a Scott Storch produced track titled, “Do It” serves as the ladies the first song to chart, placing them in front of a wider audience than ever before. 

As always, the sisters play with their perfectly practised duality, not only in the imagery for the album but on their vocal arrangements; singing harmonies with a tightly locked blend that is almost operatic at times.  

The Ungodly Hour is a stunning follow up from the Atlanta duo. Chloe x Halle teeters on the edge of RnB all the while staying true to their experimental roots. The sisters are becoming ones to watch. 

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to The Ungodly Hour, check it out below and let us know what you think: