Self-described as being influenced by Kanye West, Prince, D’Angelo, and Justin Timberlake, Nashville-based NAWAS has a distinct sound that couldn’t be described more accurately. Their previously released tracks, including the chart-topping “Wrong” and spiritually transcendent “So Low,” gave us a glimpse into this incredible combination. On Sept. 22, they returned with an entire EP, Trouble, and the exotic fusion of sound hallmarks a new era while still maintaining a certain timelessness.
The band puts their own alternative spin on pop music by blending hip-hop, electronic sounds, soul, and pop without glossing over the importance of songwriting. The trio, consisting of vocalist/songwriter Jake Nawas, guitarist Ben McDaniel, and drummer Joey Gonzales, worked with Grammy Award-nominated Sainte on the EP to detail their sound with more textures as well as with Tim Anderson (Twenty One Pilots, Halsey) and Daniel James (Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez). The expertise and diversity of these figures is clearly demonstrated through the unique and striking sound of the EP.
Trouble opens with “Who Are You,” and we’re immediately struck by NAWAS’ enchantingly androgynous voice and the track’s strong electric guitar riffs that remain present for the rest of the record. NAWAS details in the eponymous track, “Trouble,” that “trouble always follows me,” a line that’s accurate to the band’s daring sound. The EP ultimately has a powerful, alternative sound that provides deeper substance to the record’s pop basis, particularly demonstrated by the final track, “White Hot.” “White Hot” closes the EP on a slightly more downtempo note that has a fantastical mood about it. “Your touch is white hot,” Nawas croons, and the song has a seductive quality that leaves us hooked on Trouble.
NAWAS is currently on a tour across the U.S. and Canada. Be sure to buy tickets to see them at a city near you and stream Trouble below: