Solange Shows Her "True" Colors
New EP is invite into her experimental originality
Her forward fashion sense has been praised and honored, making her a fan favorite (and necessary invite) to every red carpet; her friendly association with bands including of Montreal, Grizzly Bear and Dirty Projectors has awarded her the stamp of approval amongst the oft-tightknit indie circles; and her side gigs - as a celebrity DJ, the face of Rimmel London, and the (former) hair of Carol's Daughter -- continue to pile up. But none of that has distracted fans from wanting new music from the ever-experimental singer.
And with her new EP, "True," Solange doesn't disappoint. The seven-song Dev Hynes-produced album plays like a post-breakup broadcast, but you'd never know by the way she keeps her simmering vocals graceful, sleek and ever unoffending.
"Losing You" (below) is an effervescent opener; a chaotic cut comprised of layered hand claps and snaps, stretched synths and peppy pings. The breezy, bubbly groove makes you smile so much—especially when topped with a looped celebratory yelp—that you forget Solange is revealing relationship red flags: "We used to kiss all night / but now it's just no use." She perfects the bittersweet sentiment again on "Some Things Never Seem to F*****g Work" when, over catchy percussive shakes and Casio keyboard-like chords, she comes to terms with the reality of a failed relationship: "Remember when you missed me / We'd accidentally meet purposely / Convinced myself you loved me." She releases breathy "oohs" and "aahs" at the end, but it's clear she's still struggling—even on "Locked in Closets," despite the string-plucking of a funky guitar and some steel-clinking, Solange lets her guard down to admit: "All I wanted was the dream of being in love with you."
Never doubt a woman scorned, though. Solange gets her groove back—quite literally—on "Lovers in the Parking Lot" when, while practicing her falsetto over a twinkling piano and electro throbs, she cruelly teases: "Played around with your heart / Now I'm playing around in the dark." Feeling good, she goes as far as to make demands—as seen in the title of the bass-heavy "Don't Let Me Down"—and dive head first into a fling with a bad boy on the sultry reverberations of "Look Good With Trouble." However, on the '80s throwback closer "Bad Girls," Solange pulls back a bit finally to reflect on her behavior: "Still I try to throw you into my own hurricane."
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