Photo: Jack Bridgeland
British vocalist Khushi has been flying under the radar for the last half-decade. After garnering initial attention with his singles “Magpie” in 2013 and “Phantoms” in 2014, the songwriter put his solo project on hiatus to pursue a stint with the acclaimed band Strong Asian Mothers. Five years later, Khushi returns with singles “From Me” and “Freedom Falls,” two songs featuring cavernous arrangements and seamlessly crafted production that foreshadow what will undoubtedly be a profoundly impactful debut album.
Khushi’s newest release, “From Me,” wastes no time in showcasing the artist’s ability to weave ornate tapestries of sound. The track opens with a lustrous wall of vocalization that immediately captivates the listener. After a moment, a sultry bassline and slinky drumbeat permeate the mix, gradually sculpting a grim beauty that the artist enhances with the addition of his buttery baritone. Within the first 15 seconds of the song, it’s clear that Khushi possesses a unique skill to mold the most esoteric of feelings into an aural epic that resonates deeply in the core of its beholder. Throughout the duration of the track, the artist continually augments the piece with subtle keyboard melodies and effortless shifting vocals, ultimately culminating in a cavernous final chorus that depicts inner conflict in a way that is impossible to convey through just words.
Though “From Me” is an outstanding standalone piece, the song foreshadows the nature of Khushi’s full-length debut when considered alongside the single he previously released this year. “Freedom Falls” presents lyrical themes of self-reflection accompanied by a smoldering, colossal sound that perfectly compliments “From Me” – but the connection between the two tracks is even deeper. Khushi’s most recent release actually references his earlier single; in the chorus, he pleads, “From me, from me / Let these strange seasons bleed from me / From me, give me reasons to breathe / find the freedom that fell from me.” The self-referential nature of the track indicates that Khushi’s full-length release may be intended to be consumed as a whole. In a market saturated with fleeting singles that depend on the hook to generate sales, the vocalist may be championing the rebirth of the concept album.
Khushi’s innate profundity and penchant for the atmospheric have led him to cultivate a working relationship with celebrated artist-producer James Blake. The two first collaborated during the production of Blake’s recent release Assume Form, and Blake has subsequently contributed additional production and mixing of songs on Khushi’s impending project. Khushi recently supported Blake on his North American and UK tour.
Check out “From Me” below, and be on the lookout for Khushi’s debut album release later this year.