Atlanta based label-collective LVRN has introduced us to some of our favorite acts over the past few years. The label is home to R&B savants, 6LACK and D.R.A.M., and is now introducing us to our newest obsession, Summer Walker. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist draws inspiration from Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix and Erykah Badu to arrange her distinct brand of R&B.
Walker’s debut album, Last Day of Summer, is a collection of songs that showcase the talented vocalist’s ability as a songwriter. Her debut is a transparent display of her thoughts and feelings on confidence, doubt, love and womanhood. Tapping into an array of styles for production, Walker shatters any preconceived ideas about her sound being one dimensional. After sitting with the album over the weekend, we have pinpointed five times we fell in love with the mysterious new singer.
1. The “Talk Yo Shit” Interlude
After a sultry opening track, Summer Walk gets straight to the point with a brief interlude condemning the idea that women do not love sex as much as men. The interlude playfully boasts about women’s subtle signs of attraction towards men and how instead of being overly respectful they should take the hint. This 30-second interlude primes you for the theme of the proceeding track, “Girls Need Love.” Summer is honest from the beginning, and it’s a quality admirable to say the least.
2. The Dreamy Opening To “Deep”
One facet Summer Walker has down is her ability to transform any setting into an intimate one. Two kick drums and a descending harp transports you into an entirely different head space. The thought of candles filled in a room burning to their end is left lingering in your mind. Summer is very aware of the bedroom anthem and proceeds to elevate the song with her sultry vocals. Captivating is the only one word that could describe the heavy bass driven dream-like opening.
3. From the Bedroom to a Candlelit Dinner
We know Summer is fully capable of turning on the sex appeal at will, but her versatility is fully displayed on “Baby.” Ditching a bass-driven production Walker opts for a jazzy piano rift and snare to delve into her free thought about her love interest. The whirlwind track is a stream of consciousness and the pleading desire we have for the ones we love.
4. Her Transparent Display of Insecurity on “Shame”
We have all had moments with our loved ones where we feel undeserving of their love. Insecure about ourselves as people causing us to second guess our worth especially in a relationship. Walker tackles this notion on “Shame,” openly discussing her insecurities and past life, a sentiment we can all resonate with.
5. Providing Her Own Harmony
Summer Walker checks off a lot of boxes artistically. Her raw talent as a vocalist is the seed that produces such dynamic tracks where we find Walker transitioning between bass-heavy ballads and guitar-led soul. Walker doesn’t need to share the spotlight with anyone on her incredible debut, providing her own harmony and back vocals she does it all.