If you have yet to hear Summer Walker's siren-like call, prepare to familiarize yourself with your newest R&B obsession. Inspired by the likes of Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, and Erykah Badu, the Atlanta native is crafting irresistible R&B dripping with a healthy helping of sultry soul. And much like the greats she admires, Walker's latest sees her exploring a wealth of jazz to create one of her most impressive projects to date.
Following Walker's debut album, Last Day of Summer, which was released last year much to our fanfare, the Atlanta native returns with the four-track EP CLEAR. The succinct offering is anything but sparse. Over the span of ten minutes of sensual R&B-tinged perfection, Walker flirts with the idea of a past life as a lounge jazz singer.
In particular, "Grave" and "Wasted" show just how well Walker's vocal runs and inflections lend themselves to the world of jazz. The juxtaposition of smoky jazz and Walker proclaiming, "One more nigga come around these parts/ Talking that shit/ Put it on my grave, nigga/ I'ma throw a fit," is tantalizing for just how unconventional yet natural the whole experience feels.
As to be expected of any project of Walker's, the most striking feature that is impossible not to mention or praise is her voice. The way in which her undeniable vocal prowess carries a profound emotional depth places her alongside the likes of R&B giants H.E.R. and Bryson Tiller. Then, put that enchanting voice in context as hypnotic as CLEAR's instrumentation, and you have a feast for the senses. It a collection best enjoyed on a tranquil rainy day, but rain or shine, Walker and CLEAR will certainly transport you to wherever you need to be.
Watch the live video for CLEAR, which flips the original order of the EP, below: